“No question” about Lotus deal, says Quantum chief

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Circuit of the Americas, 2013In the round-up: Quantum Motorsports chief claims there is “zero chance” of the group’s deal with the Lotus team falling through.

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Quantum insists there are no doubts about Lotus deal despite delays (Autosport)

Mansoor Ijaz: ??There is no question about the fact that the deal will take place and there is no question that the monies have been debited from our side of the balance sheet. There is zero chance that this deal will not happen.??

Ecclestone: No Mexico or New Jersey races in 2014 (Austin Statesman)

Bernie Ecclestone: ??At the moment, we more or less have an agreement with (Mexico). They have to provide the circuit. It’s causing a bit of a problem. It needs to be rebuilt, their circuit.??

Mark Webber regrets letting U.S. GP pole ‘slip through fingers’ to Sebastian Vettel (Sky F1)

Webber: ??Sometimes you’re happy that you’ve given your best and you’re on the front row, but today I think one slipped through the fingers. But anyway we’re up there and well done to Seb. He put three sectors together, I put two and a half together and just dropped it in the last sector.??

‘A miracle’ needed to beat Vettel ?ǣ Hamilton (ESPN)

Hamilton: ??Vettel’s won the last God knows how many races by 30 seconds, he’s on pole, he’s going to win tomorrow by 30, 40, 50 seconds again. So you can put some money on it if you want; I’m up for making some money on it!??

78,886 fans attend Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday at COTA (San Antonio Express)

“A crowd of 78,886 fans watched Infiniti Red Bull Racing?s Sebastian Vettel as he continued to dominate his Formula 1 racing rivals by taking the pole on Saturday afternoon for Sunday?s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas.”

Exclusive Q&A with Sauber?s Monisha Kaltenborn (Formula1.com)

Kaltenborn: “The basis for this performance change has certainly been the update we brought in in Hungary. And from then on things did develop. It didn?t materialize right away into points, but we could see that we were getting more and more competitive and closing the gap to the teams ahead of us.??

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Comment of the day

After Pastor Maldonado suggested that his team have been deliberately tampering with his car this weekend, reader hunocsi is not impressed.

To be honest, on the basis of the great improvement Williams showed in 2012 after the woeful 2011 season, I hoped Williams could make one more step forward and get close to the top guys, with a wish for Maldonado to be good this year ?ǣ I know, he crashed a lot last year, but also performed very well in Spain, Singapore or Abu Dhabi for example, so I really wanted him to get his act together, because his raw speed is excellent, and if he drove clear, his aggressive style would put him up in the top.

Sadly, Williams couldn?t produce a good car for this year, that happens ?ǣ like with McLaren. But how Maldonado has handled the situation with the interviews throughout the year, but especially this week, to say the least it annoys me very much. How can a man so talented say such stupid things like his team didn?t do as much for him as he did for them, or that they play with his car? It?s unbelievable. I am very disappointed with him and though I can?t say I was a fan of him, from now on I won?t support him at all.
hunocsi

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On this day in F1

And happy birthday to Domenico Schiattarella. The Italian driver ended the 1994 season and began the 1995 campaign with Simtek, managing a best finish of ninth, four laps down, in Argentina. However the team ran out of money following the Monaco Grand Prix three races later and with that went any future Schiatarella might have had in F1.

He later competed in sports car races in America.

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59 comments on “No question” about Lotus deal, says Quantum chief

  1. Barney Gale said on 17th November 2013, 0:34

    The quantum deal is a fantasy – check this excellent write-up: http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/1qqqjz/why_the_lotus_deal_is_a_fantasy_who_are_quantum/

    • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 17th November 2013, 0:51

      …Woah. Pretty much all there is to say. Well, fingers crossed it isn’t the case.

    • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 17th November 2013, 1:13

      I’ve seen that too. If his previous is anything to go by he’ll probably try to get his “backers” to deposit the money with him and then run for it but I can’t believe everybody isn’t on to him by now.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 17th November 2013, 1:18

      what a mess.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 17th November 2013, 1:32

      Read some of this previously and it is disconcerting in that the deal just may never happen. If indeed, the money transaction has begun and they are just waiting for the flow through multiple proper banking channels, maybe it will happen. Hopefully Hulkenberg is getting good advice to not sign on the dotted line until there is proof that the money is truly in the hands of Lotus to be used for the purpose of funding the team. In other words, Show Me The Money! Or, don’t sign.

      It is interesting to note that similar reports can be found on the interwebs regarding Mr. Lopez and Genii, et al.

      It is my hope that the money does actually show up soon and Lotus is able to sign a driver based on talent, not funding.

    • Shimks (@shimks) said on 17th November 2013, 1:42

      Incredible!

    • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 17th November 2013, 7:01

      This reminds me of the guy who bought Notts County football club with nothing but words and even bring sven goran eriksson as a coach …with a group of mysterious investors and later got busted

    • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 7:15

      Oh dear, poor old Nico Hulkenberg as he won’t get a drive anywhere for next years world championship, and I am sure a journo who rarely gets it wrong said this that Nico won’t get a drive. Where does that leave Nico on the driver market

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 17th November 2013, 7:28

      I am usually willing to give the ‘suspect’ in internet articles the benefit of the doubt, but in this case the evidence just seems too overwhelming. Coupled with Mansoor’s ridiculously confident statements like “Kimi will be paid”, “the team’s debt will be paid off”, and “there is zero chance this deal will fall through”, I actually feel there is “zero chance” that Lotus will be saved by this clown.

      What is a bit worrying, though, is that Lotus have been strung along by this story for six months now. Mansoor has certainly had the attention he apparently seeks, but Lotus in the meantime have lost their star driver and will now be reduced to signing Maldonado. Lotus’ lawyers should also have figured out at an early stage that Quantum was not the dream investor they were looking for. Are they so desperate they are willing to pursue the deal regardless?

      • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 7:40

        This guy is a clown for sure, as he is attention seeker person, as he is all talk and no action, this guy should give it a rest and admit that he had no chance in Lotus. Lotus should say this person give up, it’s not working

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 17th November 2013, 7:34

      It was a strange deal from the get go – even without knowing who the guy behind Quantum is. The first question would be what’s the motivation for Quantum to put money on the table. Imo, there is no apparent reason resp. no concept for a ROI and no names for a vanity project – and I think that Lopez is aware of this.
      This deal isn’t straight forward and there is more going on than what has been reported so far.

      • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 7:42

        Back in Venezuela, apparently Pastor has been signed to Lotus

        • TMF (@tmf42) said on 17th November 2013, 15:30

          @william – almost but not quite – though I guess that’s what will happen. imo, Quantum is a phony deal and Hulk simply doesn’t have the sponsors.
          Only other option I see is if Perez can get some serious sponsorship money from Slim, but that seems unlikely too.

          • William (@william) said on 18th November 2013, 10:41

            The owner of Quantum Motorsport is apparently getting closer to signing a deal, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Which is suppose to be this week. I will see it when I believe it. I will laugh my head off if Pastor gets sign and the money comes afterwards or the money doesn’t come at all

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 17th November 2013, 10:54

      I’m not quite so sure about that. Whenever you read a report on an Arabic man, written by an American or European, and there are references to 9/11 or Bin Laden, the invisible question mark immediately flies up. I’m extremely cautious about the report. And so what if he is a crook? Aren’t most of the people with money in F1 crooks? I mean, look at Bernie! I’m very sure that a group of people who are insightful and intelligent enough to create a car as good as the E21 just on some change they found down the back of the sofa, then I’m sure they know exactly who Mr Ijaz is, especially if that report comes up on the first page of a Google search. That aside, I still genuinely believe that this deal will go through and that we will hear the news we are all so desperate for: of Hulkenberg’s move to Lotus…as opposed to “Money, Money, Money Maldonado”…

      Regarding Maldonado, @hunocsi – I think you are failing to address that fact that Bottas has wiped the floor with Maldonado this year. And therefore the sheer arrogance of trying to suggest that he is the only reason Williams has had any performance whatsoever is laughable. Do you think Bottas could have won the 2012 Spanish GP if he was in Maldonado’s shoes? I do. The real problem yesterday was not tampering of any form, but due to his driving style. Maldonado is staggeringly bad at countering oversteer, often countering too much and losing all of the car’s momentum, and that is a problem if you have such an aggressive turn-in it creates oversteer. Maldonado therefore prefers to dial understeer into the car, but yesterday all the drivers who prefer understeer, like Button, Massa and Rosberg, all struggled with under-heated rears. Maldonado is in that boat, along with Vettel too arguably, who probably could’ve been on pole by about 0.4, but struggled with a light rear end on turn-in to the slow corners resulting in a poor first two sectors relative to “oversteery-leery Webber”. Want the cold, hard truth, “Money, Money, Maldonado”? Your rookie teammate just out-qualified you by 1.5 seconds.

      • This story, if true, only makes sense if Lotus simply wants to get more money out of PDVSA.

      • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 17th November 2013, 14:11

        Bottas has done really well against Maldonado in qualifying, but to say he’s wiped the floor with him is an exaggeration as Maldonado has a point and has very often outperformed Bottas in races. And outside the points, Bottas has had one 11th place finish to Maldonado’s four.
        I hope I’m not coming across as a Maldonado, because I’m not! I’m just stating it’s been Maldonado performing better in races, and Bottas has performed better in qualifying.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 17th November 2013, 15:28

          @deej92 – You’re absolutely right, although I think Maldonado’s race performance is more of an illustration of his experiences and not so much a weakness on Bottas’ part. My point is, although I seemed to have poorly articulated it, is that Maldonado won a race, and found himself in the top five a couple of times in qualifying; he should be humiliating Bottas, especially in qualifying. And he knows that, but the fact that he isn’t means he is stupidly clutching at straws and in doing so has made some frankly outrageous allegations. Frank, put Frijns in there for the final race and tell Pastor to get on his bike.

          • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 17th November 2013, 18:41

            I completely agree. That’s what he’s doing – clutching at straws, and therefore just completely embarrassing himself with such allegations. It’s such a sour end to the relationship.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 17th November 2013, 15:25

        @william-brierty it’s a bit oversimplified – a F1 tire is “switched on” by reaching a temperature window inside. this is achieved by residual heat from breaks, suspension setup and a certain warm-up procedure in the out-lap (lateral load on tires).
        I guess guys who had troubles yesterday either had a too conservative setup or didn’t quite enable the tires in the out lap – but this usually has less to do if someone prefers over or understeer as surface slip is more relevant for degradation during races. Driving style is a factor but not the only one.

        Also I remember Button complaining about understeer – Massa and Rosberg about a balance issue from corner to corner and Vettel runs a different setup than Webber – so pinpointing everything to driving style and under heated rears is not quite right.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 17th November 2013, 15:42

          @tmf42 …so it’s just a staggeringly spooky correlation? Twaddle. OK, I take your point about setup which is crucial, but Button, Massa, Vettel, Rosberg and Maldonado all go into a weekend looking for a car that has a touch of understeer. Obviously you don’t want too much understeer, as Button found, but getting temperature in the rear tyres so that it was proportional to the front end temperature was a real issue yesterday, and “switching on” rear tyres when the front is sliding so that the fronts don’t subsequently overheat is what caught some of the guys out yesterday. Looking at his pole lap, I would imagine that Vettel only managed to get the optimal amount of rear temperature after the heavy stop at the end of the long straight after which time he was purple, having been careful not to overheat the fronts on the out-lap.

          • TMF (@tmf42) said on 17th November 2013, 16:10

            @william-brierty not sure from where you have this information – I’ve seen Massa, Vettel and Rosberg using different approaches on different tracks this year – so I’d be curious where it says they specifically prefer understeering.
            They were obviously out of balance yesterday but saying it was 1 specific issue is a rather big guess – without having the data at hand.

    • Jonathan189 (@jonathan189) said on 17th November 2013, 12:16

      Mansoor Ijaz: “There is no question about the fact that the deal will take place and there is no question that the monies have been debited from our side of the balance sheet. There is zero chance that this deal will not happen.”

      This whole quotation sounds ominous for Lotus. It’s like when the chairman of a football club gives the manager an ‘unequivocal vote of confidence’. And I don’t know much about banking, but when I make a bank transfer the money turns up pretty quickly at its destination. There is not a long delay during which it has been ‘debited’ but not yet ‘credited’.

      • maarten.f1 (@maarten-f1) said on 17th November 2013, 14:28

        @jonathan189 How often do you make an international transfer of large sums of money? Banking at this level is not to be compared with the banking you and I are involved in.

        I say, let’s wait and see. I’m not going to base any conclusion on some random reddit post of someone called GregEvangelista. Nor posts on here from people claiming to know someone who works at Lotus or whatever. If Maldonado has been signed, why has Lotus not announced it yet? I don’t think all the t’s have been crossed and all the i’s have been dotted yet. So let’s just wait and see what happens.

    • smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 17th November 2013, 17:22

      Two words for Lotus…Due diligence !

  2. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 17th November 2013, 0:38

    If there is no question of the deal, does that one hundred percent guarantee Hulk? I hope so. I also hope that the car is as good next year as well, which is why I really want Lotus to finish better this season, just to help them out for next season.

    • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 7:17

      It has fallen through from what I have read as he won’t get a drive for Lotus. It was a fantasy to hold off other drivers before Pastor goes to Lotus, as he has many million dollars under his belt

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 17th November 2013, 10:05

        I so hope you’re wrong and that we’ll have Telmex Lotus next year with Perez and Grosjean.

        • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 10:47

          There is no rumours what so ever about Sergio Perez going to Lotus as it is mainly about Nico and Pastor

          • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 17th November 2013, 12:43

            Well if nico didn’t get the lotus drive he will be there with sauber/FI for next season and pastor with PDVSA million get the lotus,its only leaves Perez out in the cold with nothing but a shot at force india only if they want him.With a string of podiums and promotion to top team its looking so good for him last year and now he is not even sure will he be there in F1 next year

          • William (@william) said on 17th November 2013, 12:51

            @smokinjoe – Perez is going to Sauber with an all Mexican line up. James Calado and Max Chilton are rumoured to be in the running for the Force India seat and Sutil seems pretty safe while Di Resta’s is in danger of losing his seat. Nico’s only option is FI, Caterham or Marussia

          • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 17th November 2013, 13:18

            @william-The only way Perez get the sauber drive depends on Mr Slim to step up and throw some money in as Sauber is financially struggling.I dont think that Monisha well let hulk go when they know his quality and he scored almost all the points for the team,they even offered nico next year extension few month back but he declined as he is not been paid…….Force India let go the guy of bianchi calibre why would they even consider max chilton who he being smashed by bianchi throughout the year

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th November 2013, 0:44

    I really like that in just 2 years, the USA GP has turned itself to be somehow of a “must attend” and the drivers enjoy it so much.

    Be it the track, be it the texan feeling and atmosphere, it’s certainly a good sign. Kudos to everyone involved, this is really looks like it’s going to be “the hit” F1 and America needed, a future classic.

    • PeterG said on 17th November 2013, 1:16

      The atmosphere & excitement around Austin is no different to how it used to be at Indy.

      Great attendance, Great events over the weekend & a huge buzz around the entire event amongst a lot of knowledgeable & enthusiastic fans.

      I really don’t know why most consider Indy a failure, Its true the circuit could have been a bit better but as an event it was brilliant & the fans always turned up even after 2005.
      Think I am right in saying Indy was consistently the best attended race on the entire F1 calender.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th November 2013, 1:50

        Maybe, but the action on track didn’t match F1 standards. I mean, the track was uninspiring and it didn’t show what an F1 car really is capable of. Indy was too big for F1, I suppose, and it didn’t help that the modifications made it a complete atrocity.

        Austin feels bright and inspired from the outside. Kinda like Suzuka or Spa. It’s fast, it’s flowing, the grandstands are full, the views are very nice. Somehow, it feels out of this world compared to the dull Indy…

        • Kanil (@kanil) said on 17th November 2013, 2:05

          I don’t really find a track that just tries to steal corners from other tracks to be… well, inspired.

          I suppose that’s irrelevant if said track puts on great races, however!

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 17th November 2013, 4:21

        I would agree that Indy is a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy racing. Steeped in history and legend, it is hard to go wrong with nearly any type of racing event. However, as glad as I was to see F1 return to the US, the Indy F1 track was a failure from the beginning. It could have been so much better if they had followed a different track layout. The one they ended up using incorporating nearly half of the oval compromised the potential of the rest of the course. I blame Tony George more than anybody. It has been said that he wanted to use even more of the actual Indy oval track and would only approve the plan using the most of the oval. (Of course I do blame Tony George for nearly everything wrong with open wheel racing in the US. And probably rightfully so, but I am admittedly biased.)

        Still, a roval is never likely to be as good as a purpose designed full road course such as COTA. It is quite gratifying that the track is successful and pleasing to the drivers and fans alike. The Indy roval being such a kludge, it never seemed to give the vibe from the track itself that is beginning to generate from COTA just two years in.

    • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 17th November 2013, 11:23

      @fer-no65 You have to give it a few years to get an accurate idea of what type of races a track will produce. If 2012 had been Valencia’s debut event, imagine how much people would have been singing about what a great new track we had.

      In the end the circuit can only add so much to the quality of the race. It’s primerily about the cars in my opinion. Without cars that are closely matched a circuit alone will struggle to put on an interesting race. Hopefully later today the likes of Grosjean and Hulkenberg will put on a good show, but I am well prepared for another 2013 Vettel snooze fest.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 17th November 2013, 1:12

    Re: COTD

    Agreed.
    Some of the things MAL has said this weekend is pretty ridiculous and immature.

    I can’t imagine this is helping his prospects of teams wanting him to join them, if they know now that he’ll bag out his own team and accuse them of tampering with his car, if things don’t go his way.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 17th November 2013, 1:38

      Sadly, Maldonado is his own worst enemy and doesn’t even realize it. He is the antithesis of drivers like Jim Clark, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jackie Stewart, just to name a few. In the end, it will be his loss.

  5. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 17th November 2013, 1:54

    So you can put some money on it if you want; I’m up for making some money on it!

    Hamilton is stirring the pot… lol

  6. MtlRacer (@mtlracer) said on 17th November 2013, 3:01

    Webber’s quote is missing about fourteen yeahs

  7. I also looked into the history of mansoor ijaz, the guy behind quantum motorsports and it really looks very fishy, I hope someone informs Hulkenberg about this so he can decide what to do. I also hope maldonado and PDVSA also gets informed about this con guy.

  8. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 17th November 2013, 8:52

    Years ago on a motorsports humour and satire blog I wrote a story about a team (Campos/HRT IIRC) being taken in by an email from a Nigerian general who wanted to finance the team.

    I never believed something like that would actually happen.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th November 2013, 11:04

      @red-andy – It has happened at least three times in the recent past.

      In 2010, a Serbian engineer by the name of Zoran Stefanovic somehow managed to purchase two TF110 chassis from Toyota. He planned to race them (despite not being accepted by the FIA) and even sent a container of “technical equipment” to Bahrain. It was later discovered that the aerospace engineering firm that he claimed was a contractor to the Serbian government had no assets aside from its name and an account with a Belgrade bank that held just 500 Euros. As for the technical equipment that was sent to Bahrain, it contained collapsible picnic chairs.

      Case study number two involves Sauber in the aftermath of BMW’s withdrawal. They signed a deal with QADBAK, an investment firm that claimed to represent Middle Eastern investors of uncertain origin. That one unravelled when it was found that QADBAK was registered only in the British Virgin Islands and was supported by a web of shell companies set up across Micronesia and the Caribbean that had been set up by a convicted fraudster.

      Finally, in the 1990s, Arrows did a deal with Prince Malik, a Nigerian investor, and his company, T-Minus. Nobody seemed to know for sure what T-Minus did, and predictably, the whole thing collapsed. Ironically, Malik actually had a legitimate claim to his title.

      • svianna (@svianna) said on 17th November 2013, 17:20

        Dont forget Peter Windsor US F1 team scam from 2010!

        I am surprised with the blatant lack of ethics in the pinnacle of motor racing. Off topic, but relevant, when it becomes widely known that people as Alain Prost and Eddie Jordan were paid $10M each to sign the Concorde Agreement 1998/1999 and NOBODY makes a comment about the fact, you know this sport is rotten to the core.

  9. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 17th November 2013, 10:30

    Alonsos start here last year was incredible so I’m hoping for a repeat this year and I think Grosjean is hoping that he can make another start like Japan, that would mix things up.

  10. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 17th November 2013, 12:30

    A RedBull party with both Vettel and Webber present!

  11. Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 17th November 2013, 12:34

    There’s something strange about Lotus holding out for the Quantum deal for so many months when a few internet searches turn up a questionable investment history for Mansoor Ijaz. Why would Lux and Lopez not have checked him out and shown him the door earlier? If Quantum is a fantasy, why has Lotus spent many months hanging around to see if several hundred million dollars magically appear? There’s also some of the Mansoor Ijaz’ statements that seem fishy: promising to pay everyone at the team a bonus out of his own pocket; promising to pay Kimi’s salary once the deal is completed; telling Lotus to go out and sign their preferred driver, Hulkenberg. I can’t help feeling this is an elaborate ruse to give Genii a way out of their investment in Lotus.

  12. David not Coulthard (@) said on 17th November 2013, 15:15

    If q
    uantum falls through, there’s always Kwantum (van Nederland – as pointed out by….@npf1 , I think?)

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