Lotus F1 boss Gerard Lopez returns to paddock after tough 2014

Gerard Lopez feels anything is again possible for Lotus following the emergence of his team from what he has described as a "humbling" experience in 2014

Lotus F1 boss Gerard Lopez returns to paddock after tough 2014

For the first time since the final grand prix of last season Lopez is back in the paddock for this weekend's race in Spain.

The hiring of a CEO in Matthew Carter has allowed Lopez to concentrate on other aspects of his business portfolio.

With Lotus confirming to AUTOSPORT earlier this week the slashing of its debts, and with results on the track improving with Mercedes now supplying engines, Lopez is able to smile again.

"It seems I'm not required," Lopez told AUTOSPORT after missing the first four grands prix of this season.

"I've been involved in a new company, Nekton Group, an oil and gas company, trading and investing, borne of some activities we've had before.

"That has essentially eaten up a lot of my time, and I'll also be announcing a new investment soon.

"So to be honest with you, coming into Formula 1 right now, it seriously feels like a holiday.

"As for the team, you know me, I'm never going to be really happy, I'm never going to be really sad, but yes, there has been good progress.

"Of course we could have scored substantially more points if it hadn't been for issues we've had or mistakes made.

"But then after last year, which was humbling but in a positive way, we have shown the team is still very strong and still able to build a very good car."

It is why Lopez believes Lotus are again heading in the right direction, both on and off track.

"We said at the beginning of the year we didn't know what would happen," added Lopez.

"It's the first year for us with a proven power unit, and obviously it is good. We've not experienced any issues - maybe one.

"But our expectation is to keep going into Q3, and once you are there then almost anything is possible, bar beating a Mercedes, or probably Ferrari right now."

In many respects Lotus's achievements are considerable given it managed to cut its debt by £58million, which included the axing of many staff.

"I hate to say it because it comes back to bite you, but financially speaking we are probably one of the best-run teams," said Lopez.

"I've been saying it for many years and taken a lot of stick for it, but I kept saying it was us putting money into the team, it wasn't debt being accumulated.

"Even then people would still write the stories they did, although we weren't much bothered at the time, but now is the normal way of doing things."

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