Lotus ‘struggling to pay entry fee’
15th January 2014, 11:50 at 11:50 am #134114
I just heard some rumours online that Lotus is now having trouble paying its entry fee for the 2014 season.
Is it really this bad? One can only hope that Lotus suceed or they get bought out at the last hour. It would be sad to see such a historic team leave the F1 grid.15th January 2014, 11:51 at 11:51 am #248046
I’ll chip in a quid if needs be.15th January 2014, 12:06 at 12:06 pm #248047
Rumours also claimed that Robin Frijns would drive for Marussia. They were based on a fan-made piece of cartoon artwork uploaded to Instagram from Malaysia.
The moral of this story is that you should only ever believe half of what you read. This rumour has probably cone from someone who has seen Lotus listed as TBC on the entry list, read how they will not attend the Jerez test, added a pinch of speculation and is now watching the whole thing boil over.15th January 2014, 13:58 at 1:58 pm #248048
That is an interview from today by AMuS with Lopez, where he tells they don’t have too big of a problem financially currently after being helped by the PDVSA money, though they still couldn’t completely pay out Räikkönen’s salary, and working with 500 people now instead of 580. And they stopped negotiations with Quantum. He also confirmed they will use Renault powertrain.15th January 2014, 14:32 at 2:32 pm #248049
Remember when Lotus weren’t going to be competitive in 2012? Or even entering in 2013? Good times. It’s like Enstone has stepped on someone’s kitten.
Good thing they’re no longer waiting for Quantum as well. I guess I can file them neatly together under the Q with Qadbak Investments.15th January 2014, 14:40 at 2:40 pm #24805015th January 2014, 17:54 at 5:54 pm #248051
This team is as close to Lotus as I am to a fish. The name alone was a sponsor agreement between Genii and Proton and in the end no money even changed hands, there was an agreement without money for Genii/renault/lotus to keep the Lotus name which in the end is ridiculous. Caterham had more of a right to the Lotus name as David hunt bought the team Lotus name when the true team folded in the early 90′s. Road car Lotus and Team Lotus being separated was one ridiculous situation and if Lotus does fold I hope everyone remembers that this Lotus was not the Lotus of old.15th January 2014, 18:54 at 6:54 pm #248052
Where does Proton stand amid all this? Lotus Group is wholly owned by Proton, and I am curious as to why Proton isn’t more aggressively backing the team.15th January 2014, 19:06 at 7:06 pm #248053
Bradley DowntonParticipant15th January 2014, 20:37 at 8:37 pm #248054
@himmatsj – Because the team no longer has anything to do with the car company. They went their separate ways over a year ago.15th January 2014, 23:31 at 11:31 pm #248055
Well, you have to hand it to Lotus, they really did have a go at being a top team, and perhaps with less funding than the manufacturer outfits.. but for a few operational errors they could have finished second in the WCC last year and possibly notched up a few more wins since 2012 season start.
Now, financial reality has bitten, hard, as they have not secured a title sponsor or shareholder investment to match their investment in the team. Thus, they are now scaling back on costs, as even they can’t continue to invest that much each year for no net gain, e.g. 580 personnel to 500. However, to be honest, they should still be finishing 5th in the WCC at worst, given the situation of all the other teams (probably not employing more than 400 people, and with smaller budgets most likely).
I guess that now they are simply structuring their cash flow to get the most that they can out of it (e.g. non-essential costs, like Kimi’s outstanding salary, are now firmly on the back foot).15th January 2014, 23:32 at 11:32 pm #248056
Also, despite Proton being a national car manufacturer, there are large debts and that was shipped off to private ownership (DRB-Hicom?). They aren’t a bottomless pit, either.16th January 2014, 10:18 at 10:18 am #248057
Joe Saward floated an interesting theory two days ago: that Genii are trying to acquire defunct car manufacturer De Tomaso as part of some kind of joint partnership, possibly with money from China.
To be brutally honest, I do not think much of Saward – his vendetta against Vijay Mallya and his reaction to the criticism he rightfully received for it was inexcuseable, and his attitude of “I’m the only journalist you should be paying attention to” is extremely unprofessional (and I think he has taken more than one swipe at Keith in the past, though he does not mention names) to say the least, but I will give credit where it is due – he does have a talent for connecting the dots in interesting ways and making a pretty compelling case for it.
On top of that, Gerard Lopez gave an interview with Auto Motor und Sport where he confirmed that the team will use Renault engines this year, and that the team sent engineers to Viry to help develop Renault’s engine, especially the ERS components, and to learn from Renault’s people. If I was Lopez and looking to lure investors, getting that knowledge and experience of cutting-edge energy recovery systems is the first thing I would do.
But maybe I am biased – I have a soft spot for the De Tomaso Pantera; it was the first exotic car that I ever saw. So I would love to see the De Tomaso name return to Formula 1.16th January 2014, 11:46 at 11:46 am #248058
I have to say I echo your views of Saward, he is awfully self righteous but I did enjoy reading that piece on the possibility of Genii purchasing De Tomaso. It was like motorsport cluedo.17th January 2014, 14:37 at 2:37 pm #248059
The team that:
-Ayrton Senna drove for at Monaco in 1984
-Schumacher won his first 2 titles for
-was invovlved in Singapore 2008 (A team can’t be perfect all the time, right? :p)
So while Team Enstone is not Team Lotus in the Jim Clark kind of sense, it’s still got a pretty decent story to tell.
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