Grosjean pleased to have confirmation for 2014

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Romain Grosjean is pleased to have finally be confirmed as a Lotus driver for 2014, despite a scintillating run of form in the second half of 2013 meaning that it was never really in doubt.

The Frenchman joined Lotus in 2012 after a disappointing half-season with Renault back in 2009. However, his return to the sport threw up a mixed bag of results, as some outstanding performances were juxtaposed by silly mistakes and crashes, the worst of which resulted in a one race ban. In the second half of 2013 though, Grosjean has appeared to be a changed man. In the final six rounds of the season, he finished on the podium four times, picked up one fourth place finish and retired from the final round in Brazil.

“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season,” Grosjean explained. “This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available.

“I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Grosjean will be joined at Lotus by Pastor Maldonado in 2013, who was confirmed by the team as Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement today.

With two former GP2 champions on its books, the team will be hoping to hassle the front-running throughout 2014. For Grosjean, his third full season will give him a chance to lead a team for the first time in his F1 career, having only previously worked alongside Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”