Lotus urges owners to sort out future before it loses best drivers
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, October 29th 2013, 10:08 GMT|
Lotus boss Eric Boullier has urged the team's owners to hurry up with a decision about its future because he does not want to risk losing the best drivers.
Genii Capital, which bought the Lotus team from Renault at the end of 2009, has been in discussions from several months with an investment group called Quantum Motorsports about buying a minority shareholding.
But despite the deal having appeared close to completion several times, it is yet to be signed off, and the team's driver plans are on hold until that matter is sorted.
Having already lost Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari because the Finn did not want to wait on the finances being sorted, Lotus is now holding out on Nico Hulkenberg not electing to sign for someone else too.
Speaking to AUTOSPORT about the situation, Boullier said he was getting impatient, especially because drivers like Hulkenberg want a decision made by the end of this month.
"Day after day we are progressing, but we are still waiting and there are some timing issues [with drivers for 2014] as well," said Boullier.
"It is up to Genii Capital to draw the line on what happens, but it has been dragging for a very long time.
"This is my reflection on it. It starts to drag too long and we need to make a decision now."
Boullier added that he fully understands that Lotus' owners are pushing for what is best for the team.
"The strategy, based on what Genii want, is to make the team better and go one step more," he said.
"This deal could secure the funding first for a multiple year business, and maybe even give a step-up which is what we are trying to do.
"But if we miss something like the timing or some other reason with drivers, we need to find solutions, even short term or medium term, so we can keep the business running."
If the Quantum deal comes off then Hulkenberg will be slotted in, but if it falls apart then Genii may have to fund Hulkenberg's capture itself or elect to take Pastor Maldonado with his PDVSA backing.