Romain Grosjean believes that Lotus will have to endure another couple of difficult seasons even if Renault goes ahead with its pending buy-out of the team.
Grosjean will leave Lotus after four seasons racing in Formula 1 to join Haas F1 Team, set up by NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas, when it makes its debut in the sport next year.
Lotus is currently in the final stages of agreeing a buy-out with Renault, with the French manufacturer signing a letter of intent last month confirming its plans to takeover the British team.
However, after finally rediscovering its form in 2015 after a tough previous season, Grosjean thinks the delay in defining Lotus’ future will hurt its efforts over the next couple of years.
“It will be difficult,” Grosjean told F1.com. “Also with the delay, that the team has to take not knowing about the future.
“Look back: the 2014 season was a disaster, then we fought our way back in 2015. I believe it will be a tough season for them again in 2016 and 2017, and probably they will bounce back in 2018. And then who knows what happens?”
Grosjean admitted earlier this year that had Renault finalized its deal to take over Lotus earlier, he would most probably have stayed with the team, but is confident that the time is right to move on and join Haas.
“F1 is always something of getting the best out of the moment for your career , and now the best for me is to go to Haas and add new experience to my CV,” the Frenchman said.
“Gene Haas has been very successful with Gene Haas Automation – a big company and world leader – and they came to NASCAR and won the title two times in the last four years.
“And for F1 they have created a partnership with Ferrari – probably the most famous team in F1. With that background it was a very sexy offer to join them.”