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Formula 1: Lotus announces Grosjean, Maldonado 2014 team

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French racer Romain Grosjean and Venezuelan, Pastor Maldonado, will be team-mates in 2014 driving for the Lotus Formula 1 team. The official announcement was made on Friday by Lotus.

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Lotus Team Principal, Eric Boullier, made the announcement, "It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season. He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge. Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado; a driver I have known since he drove for me at DAMS in the 2005 World Series by Renault season. It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential – demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team – and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track."

Mr. Grosjean stood on the podium six times in the 2013 season, according to Formula One, including a second place spot at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. About the announcement, the racer said: "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."

Pastor Maldonado joins Lotus from the Williams Formula 1 team. In taking the new position, he replaces Kimi Raikkonen who will return to Ferrari. Raikkonen is replacing Felipe Massa, who will race for Williams next year. According to Formula 1, the Maldonado announcement ends speculation that Nico Hulkenberg may have moved to Lotus from Sauber.

About his move, Mr. Maldonado commented, “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.”

It will be Grosjean's third year with Lotus in 2014, according to Formula 1. He finished the 2013 season in seventh place in the Drivers' Championship, with 132 points. Maldonado leaves Williams after three years with that team. In 2013, he finished 18th in the championship, scoring one point.

In 2013, Lotus-Renault came in fourth place in the Constructors' World Championship with 315 points. With its new team of drivers in 2014, the team will try to beat those who finished ahead of it this year -- Red Bull Racing-Renault in first, Mercedes in second, and Ferrari.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is also credentialed for NASCAR and various historic/vintage racing events. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a book about racers and racing.

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