Date: 26th September 2013 at 6:58am
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Romain Grosjean has been backed to lead the Lotus team next season following the departure of Kimi Raikkonen.

The Frenchman might be seen by many as a relative newbie to Formula One, but at the age of 27, he’s actually older than soon to be crowned quadruple F1 champ, Sebastian Vettel.

The Lotus driver merely dipped into Formula One earlier on his career, dropped back out to GP2 before eventually returning to full time Grand Prix racing last year.

After being heavily criticised for his driving last season, to the extent that he sat out the Italian Grand Prix through suspension, the Lotus driver has evolved this season and until his mechanical failure in Singapore, had been enjoying a great run of form.

A podium finish in Germany was back up by four more points scoring finishes and he had been in course for another podium position under the lights in Sepang until an engine valve leak forced his retirement.

But what does his future hold? He’s currently not under contract with Lotus, whilst team-mate Raikkonen has already confirmed his exit to Ferrari at the end of the season.

Lotus meanwhile have been reportedly in talks with both outgoing Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg regarding the empty seat at Lotus. With some interested parties in the paddock querying if they are interviewing for one or two drivers next season.

But if Grosjean had feared for his future he will hopefully feel better after hearing the words of Lotus’s Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane, who not only hinted that Grosjean could remain with the Enstone team, he could even lead it.

‘I don’t see why not, quite honestly, Obviously it depends who he has as his team-mate, a strong character or who it is. But I don’t see why not.

‘Now’s his chance – and he looks to be taking it, which is really good to see.’
Permanent told Sky Sports.

‘I wouldn’t call it a breakthrough but since Nurburgring and Hungary, He’s just been getting better and better and better.