The Lotus Formula One Team is sticking with drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado next year, but it's dropping Renault as an engine supplier in favor of Mercedes power. The 2014 F1 season is barely over, though, and that mean's there still a little time left to put those marketing dollars to work, while still having a little fun, too.
With the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix now just ten days away, the focus is beginning to shift to next year's Formula One World Championship, with more and more pieces to the puzzle falling into place. And the latest news comes from the Lotus team. The Enstone-based outfit has confirmed that it's keeping both its drivers right where they are for next season, with Romain Grosjean partnering Pastor Maldonado once again.
Being a Formula One driver has its privileges. First off, you get to drive F1 cars for a living. You get treated like royalty and fly around the world. And if you're lucky, you might get a supercar thrown at you once in a while. It all depends on which team you drive for.
The team currently known as Lotus has had a long string of accomplished drivers behind the wheel, including world champions like Nelson Piquet, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. But Kimi is returning to Ferrari next season, leaving a big question mark over who would fill his seat. And now we have our answer.
With Ferrari pairing Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Formula One's annual game of musical chairs had, so far, left Brazilian veteran and 2013 Ferrari driver Felipe Massa without a team. Fortunately for Massa's fans, he's found a ride for next season, inking a three-year contract with Williams F1 that should allow his 11-year career in the top flight of open-wheel racing to carry on, according to a report from BBC Sport.
Mark Webber is really letting loose now that he's announced he's retiring at the end of this Formula One season. The Australian offered a few scathing remarks about his soon-to-be-former teammate on the latest episode of Top Gear (set to air on Monday, August 12 in the US), and now the outspoken driver is arguing that the quality of the grid has dropped significantly since his first race in 2002.
The last Formula One car to be revealed for the 2013 season, the Williams FW35, is here. Unveiled at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona before the second pre-season test, the FW35 is – like every other car on the grid – an evolution of last year's car. Both team drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas have said the car is a big step up from last year in overall driveability and "rear-end cornering grip."
If there's ever been an example of a hero fallen from grace, surely it's Williams. Once dominant in Formula 1, it's been relegated to "also ran" status, but the privateer entry is intent on clawing its way back up to the top.
With the 2010 World Championship consigned to the history books, the Formula One grid is gearing up for next season. Sixteen out of twenty-four seats have already been spoken for as Lotus and Williams have each confirmed both their drivers.