Another piece of the 2016 Formula 1 puzzle has been completed with the Haas F1 Team confirming Romain Grosjean for next season.
The Frenchman joins the new American-based outfit from Lotus, the team with which he made his debut with in 2009 when they were still running under the Renault guise and where has spent his entire F1 career.
Life at the Enstone squad though has not been rosy the past two seasons as they have struggled financially, but there is light at the end of the tunnel with French manufacturer Renault announcing on Monday that they will buy a controlling stake in the squad and run it as a works team from 2016.
However, Grosjean won’t be around as he has signed for newcomers Haas F1 Team, who will enter the sport next year with Ferrari providing them engines and technical help.
“This is part of our long-term strategy. We wanted an experienced driver to lead our team into the 2016 season, “team owner Gene Haas said during Tuesday’s press conference.
“F1 is a tricky business, and like any business you have to learn, and the best way is to learn from other people. Romain was one of several candidates, he has been in F1 for many years, and been excellent for Team Lotus.
“I reviewed a lot of videos of his driving style, and one of the things that is very impressive is that he has scored points every season, and our primary goal is to be able to score points.
“As a piece of the puzzle he is going to have a lot of work to do, he is our lead driver.”
Grosjean added: “What Gene Haas and everyone at Haas F1 Team is building is impressive, and I’m very proud to be a part of it. Formula One is incredibly competitive and the only way to succeed is by finding new ways of doing things.
“This is a new opportunity with a new team that is taking a very different approach to Formula One. I believe in their approach and they believe in me. While I am committed to giving my absolute best to my current team in these last five races, I am very excited for what the future holds at Haas F1 Team.”