Oct.11 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Romain Grosjean has denied that Lotus’ new Mercedes engine deal makes it less likely he will stay with the Enstone team beyond 2014.

On the face of it, the struggling team’s switch from an underpowered Renault ‘power unit’ is good news for Lotus’ frustrated drivers.

“It will help Lotus,” Grosjean agreed at Sochi.

“I am sure that next year the team will be more competitive. The option of (staying with) Lotus has become quite attractive.”

But tucked away in Lotus’ press release about the Mercedes deal was the detail that the team will be using Petronas oils and fuels next year.

Currently, Grosjean is closely aligned with the Renault-linked French oil company Total.

“They (Total) understand the situation,” the Frenchman insisted. “There are negotiations.

“Our relationship with Total is much closer than just a sponsor. We have been together and we want to continue.

“If the car is not running on Total fuel, that does not mean the company will stop supporting me,” Grosjean explained.