Date: 29th November 2013 at 4:51pm
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Lotus F1 have confirmed their driver line-up, setting off the domino effect which will ripple through the Formula One paddock.

As expected, after a coming-of-age season in 2013, Romain Grosjean has been maintained at the Enstone team.

‘I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season, This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available.

‘I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.’
Grosjean said in a statement announcing the news.

But while it’s great news for Grosjean, it was the other seat which was the subject of much speculation.

Following the news that Kimi Raikkonen was leaving for Ferrari, Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa were initially installed as the favourites for the seat.

But as the weeks dragged on it became clear that Lotus needed to complete their finance deal with Quantum Motorsports to complete their move for Hulkenberg, while Massa eventually signed with Williams.

That deal came about following the news that Pastor Maldonado had forced his way out of Williams in a bid to get the Lotus drive.

The team made it clear that they wanted Hulkenberg, but with that crucial deal with Quantum still dragging on they’ve now confirmed Maldonado, probably aided by the ?30million-a-season backing Maldonado receives from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

Maldonado said in a statement: ‘It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014, It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season.

‘The regulations and cars will change significantly so it is a very good time for a fresh start. I can’t wait to be racing in black and gold.’


The news leaves Nico Hulkenberg choosing between current team Sauber and former team Force India, with the German known to have options with both teams.

His decision is likely to effect the likes of Sergio Perez who is after a drive after his release from the McLaren team, current Sauber driver Esteban Guitierrez will also be an interested onlooker as will Force India duo Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta.

Maldonado moves to Lotus

 

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