So now its official – Kimi will be missing the final races of the season to get his back sorted for next year.
Whilst his departure from Lotus has been less than ideal, and the very public nature of his pay dispute, the partnership has gone well.
Romain Grosjean is looking a lot more complete a driver having had someone else taking a lot of the publicity for the last couple of years. He’s ready for shouldering that additional leadership role next year.
The intriguing aspect of the driver market now is who will replace Kimi.
Personally I think if Lotus could secure Nico Hulkenberg that would give them the best younger driver lineup in F1. Although having a well financed quick driver like Pastor Maldonado could tick a lot of boxes for the chaps at Enstone. I’m still convinced Pastor in a good car is eminently capable of consistent race winning.
You could also make a case for promoting Davide Valsecci – someone who has shown enough promise to warrant a step up.
But then, Hulkenberg would presumably only get the drive if the ever elusive Quantum deal comes to fruition. How many times have we seen these wealthy mystery buyers sneak of into the sunset again.
Who would you like to be in the second car next year?