F1 2015 Driver Review: Romain Grosjean

© Getty Images

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.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.