Lotus denies unpaid staff warning of strike
“There may be some delays, but it will be repaired within a few days.” – Eric Boullier
Aug.9 (GMM) Lotus has played down reports the Enstone based team is struggling to survive financially amid crippling debts.
It was already known that the team’s highest-paid member, lead driver Kimi Raikkonen, is waiting on his latest pay instalment.
And reports in the German press said other unpaid staff at Enstone are threatening to lay down their tools, while spare parts are running low because suppliers are also waiting for invoices to be paid.
35 per cent of the Genii-owned team was sold recently to a consortium called Infinity Racing, but it subsequently emerged that the deal is still not actually done.
“There may be some delays,” team boss Eric Boullier admitted this week, “but it will be repaired within a few days.
“The package that ensures the future of the company is completed slowly, but we’ll get there,” he told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
Meanwhile, the Spanish sports newspaper Marca said Lotus has officially denied that team members have not been paid and are therefore threatening to strike.
I have no idea how reliable this source is but if it is true Lotus is in for a ride…..
I find it very worrying that such stories are going around, not just for Lotus but also for Sauber (the “details of their Russian deal are still being implemented”). Here are two respectable teams that are struggling to survive financially, despite having moderate success in the past few seasons.
Ecclestone and CVC have taken a lot of money out of the sport over the past few years, and I wonder what they will do if suddenly a number of teams cannot go on. In addition to Sauber and Lotus, it is not inconceivable that Mallya’s financial difficulties finally catch up with Force India, and that Marussia simply fails to attract enough sponsorship to survive. How are any of these teams going to afford the new engines?
If we have only 7 teams on the grid next season, that could spell the end of F1. On the other hand, perhaps that is the wake-up call teams need to finally push through cost-cutting measures.