Emotional Grosjean ends Lotus career with charging drive

Romain Grosjean ended his career with Lotus with a strong drive to ninth place in Abu Dhabi, having started the last race of 2015 from the back of the grid.

Emotional Grosjean ends Lotus career with charging drive
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team with Ayao Komatsu, Lotus F1 Team Race Engineer on the grid
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team with Ayao Komatsu, Lotus F1 Team Race Engineer on the grid
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team on the drivers parade

The Frenchman qualified 15th after a problem in Q2, but then went to the back to 18th thanks to a gearbox penalty.

He used an aggressive two-stop strategy that saw him start on the soft tyres and run two long stints, before a spectacular charge on supersofts at the end which gained him two points.

“It was a good race, a tough one,” he said. “But we knew if we had a good strategy we could do something nice.

“The last stint was the key one. I really enjoyed driving the car, after a very difficult weekend we did manage to set it up well and go for a good result.”

Sadness at leaving Enstone

Grosjean says he will miss his former team, for whom he made his F1 debut in its Renault guise in 2009 and latterly rejoined (as Lotus) in 2012.

“I will miss the guys,” he admitted. “I love them, I love working with them. It means a lot to me.

“It's something that you don't live every day in your life, I was lucky to have that, being an F1 driver in a team with such a strong spirit.

“On the other hand there is this little flame which is looking forward to the next challenge, which I think can be something quite unique as well."

Upbeat about Haas move

Grosjean will now team up with former Sauber racer Esteban Gutierrez at the new Ferrari-powered Haas team.

“It's a great adventure,” he said. “And I'm very much looking forward to discovering more about America, about the culture.

“I already like the spirit of Gene [Haas, team owner] and the guys I met, and it's going to be great. I need to get my American up to speed, but I'm not worried, it's going to be fine in the winter.”

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