Romain Grosjean will drive with the support of a new race engineer during the 2015 Formula 1 season, following a minor reshuffle within the Lotus F1 Team’s engineering department.

The Frenchman has worked with Japanese engineer Ayao Komatsu since he re-joined the squad in 2012; the pair has achieved nine podium finishes during their time together.

Komatsu has since been promoted to the role of the Enstone team’s Chief Engineer. His duties will now be assumed by Julien Simon-Chautemps, who has served as a performance engineer for the likes of Vitaly Petrov, Kimi Räikkönen and Pastor Maldonado since joining Lotus in 2011.

After a highly impressive 2013 campaign where he achieved six podium finishes and claimed seventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings, Grosjean’s 2014 season was anything but rosy. He claimed just two points’ finishes in the troublesome and unreliable E22, and admitted at the end of the season that it was one of the most psychologically challenging of his entire career.

“In 2012, I did some stupid things [and had a lot of crashes], but it was my fault. This year I put in some good performances, but it was not visible because of the car,” he told RMC Sport.

“You have to try and understand everything and help push everyone in the right direction and that takes a lot of energy.”

With the team switching to Mercedes power and with its new E23 challenger having passed the latest FIA chassis homologation tests, he is confident of a brighter 2015 season.

“I hope very much that we are back on the podium now next season and can drink some champagne again, but anyway, 2015 will be a good year because my second child will be born in mid-May,” he added.

Image via XPB Images

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Geoff Burke

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