As predicted by international publications ahead of the official announcement, Lotus on Friday confirmed Romain Grosjean as Kimi Raikkonen’s teammate for the 2012 season. The Enstone based team, formerly known as Renault, said the announcement was made in conjunction with Total, the French multinational oil company and existing team sponsor.
“The two companies (Lotus and Total) are also pleased to confirm that they have renewed their sponsorship agreement for another year,” read a media statement.
Genii-managed and Total-backed Grosjean, 25 years old and the new GP2 champion, was the team’s reserve driver in 2011.
“Returning to Enstone as a race driver feels like coming home,” said the Swiss-born French driver, who made his troubled grand prix debut alongside Fernando Alonso amid the ‘crashgate’ scandal in 2009. “Total is delighted to give the young talented French driver … the opportunity to fulfil his dream,” said Total’s senior vice president corporate communications Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier.
The media statement also seemed to confirmed media reports’ claims earlier that Frenchman Eric Boullier is staying put as team boss.
“I would like to thank Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna for their contribution to the team’s performance this year and I wish them all the best for the future,” he is quoted as saying.
A replacement for Grosjean as reserve driver was not named.