Speculation is growing that Romain Grosjean has signed to join the Lotus F1 team in place of Vitaly Petrov

Reports from Italy are claiming that Romain Grosjean has signed to partner Kimi Räikkönen at the renamed Lotus F1 team next year.

An article in today’s Italiaracing cites “more than reliable French sources” in its assertions that the GP2 champion – who made a poor first impression in F1 when he made his debut with the then-named Renault team in 2009 in the wake of the ‘Crashgate’ scandal – would make a proper return to an F1 cockpit.

“There is no official announcement (yet) but the contract has been signed in recent days,” the article adds.

Driving for the DAMS team in this year’s GP2 Series championship, Grosjean romped to the GP2 Asia title and the main series crown this year in an impressive year.

Also up for contention for the second seat alongside Räikkönen were the incumbent Vitaly Petrov and the team’s stand-in driver Bruno Senna.

“Breaking the deadlock in favour of the Frenchman was not only his excellent performance in recent testing and his positive evolution as a driver in the last two years,” Italiaracing adds, “but also a range of commercial considerations.”

The article suggested that Senna would be demoted back to reserve driver duties, while Petrov would possibly join his compatriots at the Marussia Racing team, kicking Timo Glock out of his seat at the Sheffield-based team.

[Image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.