Romain Grosjean says news that Kimi Raikkonen will drive for the current Lotus Renault team in 2012 has made him even more determined to secure a seat at the squad, which will run as Lotus next year.
Raikkonen was the only 2012 Lotus driver specified on the official Formula 1 entry list when it was released by the FIA earlier this week. 2011 Lotus Renault racers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna are reserve driver and GP2 champion Grosjean's rivals for the second seat.
Grosjean described the TBA on the next to the second 2012 Lotus drive as "a nice empty space," and said his excitement at the possibility of getting a race seat only increased when the team signed Raikkonen.
"I think I'm still on the list. I'm hoping for sure to get the seat," said Grosjean. "I dream about F1 and I really would like to come back, and I think especially with Kimi it could be something quite special for my career and for my experience.
"I'm still waiting. I think I did everything I could when I had the car in my hands and now I'll try to work it out and find a solution."
Grosjean fully backed the decision to sign Raikkonen, despite the 2007 champion's two-year absence from F1.
"I think for the team, in terms of marketing and media it was a very good announcement," said Grosjean. "Nobody was expecting it, which was really cool. That was the case for everybody, myself as well. They told me just a little bit before, but yeah I was surprised. But I knew for the team it was something interesting and something good for the future."
The 25-year-old said he was trying to remain open-minded about his chances of being on the 2012 F1 grid.
"Do you want me to be optimistic or realistic?" Grosjean said when asked how big a possibility he thought it was. "It changes every morning – it depends on my mood... This morning I was in quite a good mood, but it's difficult to say. If you don't believe in it, you don't try. So far, I believe in it."