The Enstone-based Lotus Renault GP team today named Romain Grosjean as the driver to race alongside 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen next season.

The 2011 GP2 Series champion gained useful experience with the team throughout the year as LRGP’s third driver.

As part of his role, the Frenchman was rewarded with two practice session drives at the final two races of the season in both Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

Grosjean said: “I am thrilled to be one of the team’s race drivers in 2012. To be racing alongside a former world champion and someone who is hungry and returning to Formula 1 will be a great experience, and I’m sure will help raise my level of performance too.

"I feel that my successful season in GP2 Series has helped me mature a lot, and I am a much more complete driver than I was last time I was competing in this sport.

"Returning to Enstone as a race driver feels like coming home. I will not disappoint.”

Prior to claiming first prize for the DAMS team in this season’s GP2 Series, he was a title winner in F3 Euroseries and the GP2 Asia Series before graduating to the Renault F1 Team in 2008 as a test driver. Following this, he stepped up to a race seat for the second half of 2009.