Lotus wants to sort finances before deciding on 2014 F1 line-up

Lotus says a decision on who replaces Kimi Raikkonen next year is on hold until the team has sorted out its financial situation

Lotus wants to sort finances before deciding on 2014 F1 line-up

Raikkonen turned his back on Lotus for a switch to Ferrari after he grew frustrated that he could not be given assurances about the team's budget.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has revealed the priority for his outfit now is to finalise a deal with new investors Infinity Racing, which has been in the pipeline for several months now.

Why Lotus must sign Hulkenberg

Boullier reckons that only once he knows what the team's finances are like going forward can he make an informed decision about who to pick - with Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa the chief contenders for 2014.

"I want to finish what we wanted to show to Kimi, but we could not get done in time," Boullier told AUTOSPORT about his efforts to finalise the Infinity deal.

"I want to close this, because it is important for the team. It will give it the financial stability for more than five years and it will give us also two steps forward in terms of revenue, which is what we need after the last two years that were up and down

"After that, we can then think about the drivers for next year - but also for 2015, 2016, and 2017.

"So do we look for a youngster who can stay with us three years, or do we gamble on one year and see what is available on the market after that?"

Boullier's last comment is believed to relate to the fact that a number of top drivers - including Jenson Button and potentially Fernando Alonso - could be free agents in 12 months' time.

Although there has been speculation that Massa has major financial backing him behind him to secure a seat, Boullier says he has not been aware of any sponsorship incentive to take him.

However, he is interested in Massa because of his experience, which could prove invaluable ahead of the new 2014 regulations.

Boullier is adamant, however, that he wants to take the best driver that is available, rather than the one who brings the biggest commercial benefit.

Raikkonen: cash prompted Lotus exit

"I want to close the financial situation to make sure that we pick the driver on merit," he said.

"And then, if we are an attractive team with an attractive combination of drivers and we can get some sponsors, fine. But that is not the priority."

While one of the Lotus seats remains totally open, Boullier says there is no reason to believe that Romain Grosjean will not be kept on in 2014 if he keeps up his current good form.

"It would be a big mistake to change him - but he needs to keep doing the same," he explained. "It is now five races in a row that he is delivering.

"If he can do five he can do 10, and if he can do 10 then he can do the rest of his life. So this is the worst I wish him; to continue like this, because he is going to have a bright future."

shares
comments
Ferrari must take blame for 2013 failures

Previous article

Ferrari must take blame for 2013 failures

Next article

Mercedes: we must beat Ferrari to second in F1 standings

Mercedes: we must beat Ferrari to second in F1 standings
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021