Romain Grosjean will leave Lotus at the end of the year and join new team Haas F1 in 2016, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
The expected announcement was made at a press conference at the team’s US home base in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
“Really happy and proud to be racing for Haas F1 from 2016 onwards. A new great and very exciting challenge,” Grosjean said on social media to coincide with the official announcement. “Taking a decision about your future isn’t easy. I’d like to thank my family and friends for their support. Proud of our choice!”
“What Gene Haas and everyone at Haas F1 Team is building is impressive, and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” Grosjean continued. “Formula One is incredibly competitive and the only way to succeed is by finding new ways of doing things.
“This is a new opportunity with a new team that is taking a very different approach to Formula One. I believe in their approach and they believe in me. While I am committed to giving my absolute best to my current team in these last five races, I am very excited for what the future holds at Haas F1 Team.”
“We wanted an experienced driver capable of developing our car and our race team into one that can score points and better itself each race and each season. We found him in Romain Grosjean,” explained Gene Haas, the team’s founder and chairman who is also a team co-owner in NASCAR.
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) September 29, 2015
“In addition to being an experienced Formula One driver, Romain is very technically minded,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “He gives strong, specific feedback as to how the car performs. As we develop our car in testing and throughout the season, his insight will be crucial.”
The team did not announce who would be Grosjean’s team mate next season. It’s widely expected to be current Ferrari test and development driver Esteban Gutierrez, in which case the announcement will probably be timed to coincide with the Mexican’s home Grand Prix at the start of November.
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