Lotus moving closer to 2016 driver decision

Who will partner Maldonado at Lotus is 2016?

Lotus Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi says the outfit has a "pretty good idea" regarding the identity of Pastor Maldonado's partner at the Enstone-based operation in 2016.

Maldonado will be kept on for a further campaign at Lotus but Romain Grosjean has opted to end his association with the team and seek pastures new at the incoming Haas F1 Team.

Gastaldi explained that Lotus has held discussions with several drivers and is nearing a final decision.

"The remorseless passing of time means that you always get closer to something in the future, so yes, we are closer to making an announcement," he said when asked if Lotus was edging closer to revealing its 2016 line-up.

"I would say something will come sooner rather than later. We won't be disclosing who it is before we announce it, but we certainly have been speaking to drivers with good provenance and we have a pretty good idea who we will have in the car."

Current reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, along with McLaren outcast Kevin Magnussen and former Toro Rosso racer Jean-Eric Vergne, are understood to be the leading candidates.

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