Lotus F1 team hits out at reports of financial trouble

Lotus Formula 1 team chairman Gerard Lopez has hit out at reports that his team is in financial trouble

Lotus F1 team hits out at reports of financial trouble

Lopez, co-owner of Genii Capital, which bought the then-Renault squad in late 2009, believes that the nature of the team's €120 million debt has been misunderstood.

He also denied suggestions that staff had not been paid, and laughed off claims that a strike at the team's Enstone base had been threatened recently.

"On the €120 million debt, anybody half-smart can find out that number by going to Companies House records and will see that out of that, over 90 million is not 'real' debt but shareholder loans made to the company," Lopez told AUTOSPORT.

"The salaries have always been paid on time and there has never been even a hint of a potential strike by our people at the factory.

"We usually don't comment on these things, but in this case it's unfair on the people working in the company to be saying things like that."

Lopez also emphasised that Lotus does have the resources to continue to develop its car this year even though, inevitably, upgrades in the second half of the season will not be as dramatic as those produced earlier.

AUTOSPORT understands that Lotus plans to take a new front wing to the next race in Belgium, where it is also set to run its passive drag reduction system.

"We are actually bringing a number of new developments throughout the season," said Lopez.

"What is true is that, just like everyone else, a lot of the big stuff like the double DRS has already been developed but is going to be put on the car for the upcoming races.

"In the second half of the season all you are doing is coming up with new wings, you're not look at changing the wheelbase or things like that - those are things you do in the first 10 races."

Lopez believes that Lotus's recent performan

ces, which have taken Kimi Raikkonen to second in the drivers' championship and the team to fourth in the constructors' standings, just 11 points behind Ferrari, are testament to the health of the outfit.

He stressed that significant investment has been made at Enstone since Genii took over.

"When we took over this team, it was eighth in the championship," said Lopez.

"It had a 50 per cent windtunnel, now it's 60 per cent. The team didn't have a driver-in-the-loop simulator, it does now. It didn't have a gearbox dyno, now it has.

"So it has a bunch of things that it didn't have even as a works team.

"As they say in other sports, you do your talking on the field and I guess we do our talking on the track."

shares
comments
Sauber backs Formula 1 rookie Esteban Gutierrez to score points

Previous article

Sauber backs Formula 1 rookie Esteban Gutierrez to score points

Next article

Whitmarsh uncut: how McLaren went off-course

Whitmarsh uncut: how McLaren went off-course
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Edd Straw
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021