We can argue over the semantics of the latest twist in the fate of Lotus in Formula One, but it can no longer be said that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are driving for Lotus.
Caterham F1 Team has announced this morning that Vitaly Petrov has joined the team as race driver, replacing Jarno Trulli with immediate effect.
Yesterday, Lotus Renault GP confirmed Romain Grosjean as its 2nd driver for 2012 alongside Kimi Raikkonen, displacing the team’s 2011 drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov.
In a statement shortly after, team boss Eric Boullier confirmed Petrov’s contract had been terminated and that he would not be in line for the team’s test and reserve driver role (presumably linked to his recent outbursts against the team).
In an interview distributed by the company this afternoon, Ex-F1 driver and Lotus ambassador, Jean Alesi, shares his views on Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Forumla One driving for Lotus Renault GP.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Lotus Renault GP’s long list of talented drivers, all carefully positioning themselves for the two available race seats in 2012 – then along comes the IceMan, performs the undercut and takes the chequered flag, before any of them has time to pick up the phone to team-boss Monsieur Boullier and cry “Foul!”
The press release begins, “Lotus Renault GP is pleased to announce that Kimi Räikkönen will race for the team next season.”, but we’re pretty sure than sentiment doesn’t extend to existing drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna, nor test and reserve driver Romain Grosjean.
It’s the question that everyone would love to know and it took a collaboration between Germany’s Sport Auto magazine and Lotus Renault GP to find out.
Lotus Renault driver Robert Kubica is undergoing surgery on multiple fractures after suffering a high-speed accident while competing in the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy. The 26-year-old Pole is said to be in a stable condition after surgery and although his injuries weren’t life-threatening, it is unlikely that Kubica will be fit by the time the 2011 F1 season begins on March 13th.