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Grosjean: Renault deal came too late for me

02 Oct 2015

Romain Grosjean admits he would have been tempted to stay with Lotus had Renault's ongoing takeover been concluded faster.

Instead, Grosjean said the delays helped make his mind up about switching to the new Haas team ahead of their Formula One racing debut in 2016 - a move he says that was also motivated by their connections with Ferrari.

"I was the first one who wanted to be part of the Renault project," the Frenchman told the BBC World Service. "If they had come earlier I would have stayed.

"But I met with Haas, they made an approach and it was attractive. The fact that Haas is close to Ferrari made it very appealing - not because I'm thinking about Ferrari in one, two or three years, but it does bring me closer for sure.

"They'll look at what we do. The better job I do there the better chance I have of getting a seat with Ferrari one day."

Founder and team principal Gene Haas said they had pursued Grosjean because they "wanted an experienced driver capable of developing our car and our race team into one that can score points and better itself each race and each season".

The 29-year-old has been a Lotus driver for the past four seasons, having earlier made his F1 debut with the team - in their previous Renault guise - back in 2009.

Lotus, who have already confirmed Pastor Maldonado for the 2016 season, are still in talks with Renault. The French manufacturer moved a step closer to returning as an F1 works team after signing a Letter of Intent to acquire a controlling stake in the team in late September.