Lotus face being locked out of their hospitality tent for the entirety of the Japanese Grand Prix with their money problems coming to a head in Suzuka.
“We are here, things are turning up late but the most important is that our group of people is still here ready to race”, said Grosjean, who is tipped to leave Lotus at the end of the season to join the new U.S.-owned Haas team.
“I’ve made up my mind”, Grosjean told reporters after coming in 15th quickest in second free practice. Although all teams limited their usual mileage in the wet conditions, Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft suggested: “That is not just about engine mileage, that is about a team that do not want to risk any sort of crash or mishap as they are struggling for parts as it is”.
Grosjean and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, who drove for Swiss-based Sauber in 2013 and 2014 and is now the Ferrari reserve, are seen as frontrunners to race for Formula One’s first American team since 1986.
“The guys are going to do their best as always”, said Grosjean, speaking in the afternoon as the Lotus freight finally arrived and was delivered to mechanics who faced a long night building the cars for Friday practice.
“I feel like I’m camping”, he shrugged as equipment sat under tarpaulin outside the team’s empty hospitality unit, in stark contrast to rival team suites which were full of buffets, fruit bowls and gleaming cappuccino makers.
The Frenchman declared in Singapore that his future is assured, with multiple sources confirming that Grosjean will exit Lotus after four seasons in favour of leading Haas’ bid.
The team has confirmed a driver announcement (singular) will take place on Tuesday, and the likelihood is that the driver will be current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
“You should analyze the pros and cons of every situation, and I’m pretty happy with the choice that I have made”, he said. “It is all done”.