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F1 2015 Driver Review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Lotus F1 Team
Car No.: 8
Races: 19
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: 3rd (Belgium)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 51
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 11th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Romain Grosjean’s recent history in Formula 1 has been one of trial and tribulations. After finally shaking off his ‘crash kid’ reputation with a superb year in 2013, Lotus has since failed to offer a car capable of consistently fighting at the front of the field.

Nevertheless, Grosjean managed to make the most of the improved E23 Hybrid this season to regularly feature in the top ten, even towards the end of the season when development on the car had long since ceased.

His star turn in Belgium was a real stand-out moment for the Enstone team. On a weekend that had seen bailiffs appear at the Lotus garage and with a court date looming for the team, Grosjean put all of this behind him to charge to a third place finish, marking his first podium in almost two years.

All year long, Grosjean battled hard and took Lotus far higher up the field that it could have thought possible. Haas has scored a real coup by securing him for its debut season in 2016, while Lotus (soon to be Renault) will now have to look to Pastor Maldonado as defacto team leader. Uh huh…

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Every year there is always one driver who seems destined to leave his longtime home and find out how life on the other side will be. And so it is that Romain Grosjean will have that opportunity in 2016, following a second successive season of attempting to make the most out of a midfield-at-best chassis at Lotus.

The thing that hampered, perhaps, Grosjean this year was a distinct lack of time in the car compared to anyone else on the grid. Grosjean was usually going into a weekend with at least one fewer practice session than anyone, courtesy of the necessary financials provided by reserve driver and past GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer who ran nearly a dozen FP1s. A welcome third place at Spa was no less than what he or the team deserved, always attempting to soldier on and keep a brave face despite the financial challenges.

As Grosjean moves away to Haas F1 Team next year, he’ll be hoping it matches or comes close to Lewis Hamilton’s shift from McLaren to Mercedes, or Sebastian Vettel’s from Red Bull to Ferrari… and not Fernando Alonso’s departure from Ferrari to McLaren.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.