Dec.8 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Lotus has decided to pair Kimi Raikkonen with new GP2 champion Romain Grosjean next year.
That is the exclusive claim of the Italian news source Italiaracing, citing “more than reliable French sources”.
“There is no official announcement (yet) but the contract has been signed in recent days,” read the report.
Frenchman Grosjean, who made his troubled F1 debut with the same team (then Renault) amid the ‘crashgate’ scandal in 2009, is handled by Lotus’ new owner Genii Capital’s management arm Gravity.
Also in the running for the seat were 2011 teammates Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov.
“Breaking the deadlock in favour of the Frenchman was not only his excellent performance in recent testing and his positive evolution as a driver in the last two years,” explained Italiaracing, “but also a range of commercial considerations.”
The report tipped Senna to now return to the reserve role, with Vyborg-born Petrov possibly ousting German Timo Glock as the Virgin team adopts the name of its Russian supercar partner Marussia for 2012.