Romain Grosjean has conceded that he wouldn’t have looked to leave Lotus if he knew that Renault would take over the team.
Renault look set to have their own works team on the 2016 grid after signing a letter of intent on Monday to buy a controlling stake in cash-strapped Lotus outfit.
Grosjean will not line-up for Renault though, having joined the new Haas F1 team.
However, the Frenchman, who has spent his entire F1 career with Lotus, has admitted that he would not have negotiated a move away from the team if he had known Renault would move to take control of the team.
“I was the first one who wanted to be part of the Renault project,” he told the BBC.
“If they had come earlier I would have stayed, but I met with Haas, they made an approach and it was attractive.”
While a move to a new team poses significant risk for an established driver, Grosjean has said that Haas F1’s technical partnership with Ferrari made the move an appealing one.
“The fact that Haas is close to Ferrari made it very appealing. Not because I’m thinking about Ferrari in one, two or three years, but it does bring me closer for sure,” he explained.
“They’ll look at what we do. The better job I do there the better chance I have of getting a seat with Ferrari one day.”
The 29-year-old first turned out for Lotus in 2011 as a test driver before making the step up to a race seat the following year.