Date: 16th January 2014 at 10:54am
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Towards the back end of November talks between Lotus and Quantum Motorsport looked positive.

All parties were certainly making the right noises with head of Quantum Motorsports consortium Mansoor Ijaz appearing alongside Lotus team principal Eric Boullier live on Sky Sports.

Quantum Motorsports who are a consortium of business types from the United States of America, Abu Dhabi and Brunei were in the midst of finalising a deal which had previously been agreed with Lotus owners Genii Capital.

That deal would have seen Quantum complete a deal to purchase 35% of the Lotus team, with the deal easing Lotus’ ongoing financial fears, with an immediate cash input for the team and impending major sponsorship agreements.

It would have also meant that Lotus could have capitalise on the availability of Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg.

But as the deal dragged on Lotus were unable to wait any longer and missed out on Hulkenberg who eventually signed for Force India.

Talk of financial problems being the reason why the team will miss the first test session of 2014 quickly did the rounds, while outgoing driver Kimi Raikkonen has still only received part-payment of the £14.5million he was owed last season.

‘We have around £114million of debt, of which more than £80m debt is with ourselves. Why would we demand the repayment of these (internal) debts? That makes no sense. We reconciled the money as marketing expenses. At the moment, it is important that the team goes forward.’ co-owner of the Genii Capital investment company Gerard Lopez told Germany’s Auto Motor Und Sport magazine as quoted by the BBC.

Plan B for Lotus had always been signing Pastor Maldonado, not necessarily for his driving ability, but for the ?30 million-a-season in sponsorship from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA that he also brings.

So once that deal was agreed it looked like the possibility of a deal with Quantum was on the rocks and that has now been confirmed.

‘The budget gap from last season was again covered by us, The Quantum money never arrived. We have now killed the talks.

‘For 2014, we will have at our disposal our new sponsor PDVSA’s budget. We will not generate any new debt. Genii is still 98% owned by us.’