Lotus F1 team says it is financially sound ahead of 2015 season

Lotus has the budget it needs to achieve its target of challenging Williams in Formula 1 this year, claims its CEO Matthew Carter

Lotus F1 team says it is financially sound ahead of 2015 season

Having spent last year consolidating its finances to cut dramatic losses, the team now has a much better handle over its budget.

After admitting that it had perhaps gone too far with staffing cutbacks last year, Carter says that it has responded.

"Without going in to too many details, in trying to sort out the finances - which we did - we laid off a number of people this time last year," he told AUTOSPORT.

"We possibly laid off a few too many so, during the course of the year, we got people back to the design office and aero office.

"We've also restructured the aero department and we are now seeing the fruits of that effort come off."

Although Lotus has lost some sponsors to Williams, and its car had some empty space in computer images released on Monday, Carter says that the money situation will be different by the time the 2015 season begins.

"Our budget for this year, although reduced compared to 2013, is similar to last season," he said.

"We have a couple of new sponsors that, although not featured on the car today, will be there for the first race.

"A lot of the back office work at the business is producing results, so financially we are looking good.

"And it is important to say that if we do get more money, then that will go straight on to improving car performance.

"In previous years such additions may have gone in to the black hole of debt, but now it can go straight on to the car."

SIGHTS SET ON WILLIAMS

The change from Renault to Mercedes engines has left Lotus hoping it can repeat what Williams did last year, when it jumped up the grid.

Carter believes that the steady financial situation, and staffing tweaks mean that it can achieve its ambition of threatening its Grove-based rival.

"We are hoping that we can challenge and get around where Williams are," said Carter, who revealed that windtunnel figures for the new E23 had been hugely encouraging.

"I don't want to be too optimistic, because it is important to be realistic, but finishing third or fourth in the constructors' championship is really our target.

"But that is largely dependent on how Red Bull cope with Renault, what Honda do with McLaren and where Ferrari get to."

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