Date: 14th September 2015 at 7:55am
Written by:

Could Lotus fall into administration just as the teams begin to prepare for Friday practice in Singapore?

Following Romain Grosjean’s podium finish in Belgium, Lotus should have been celebrating and looking forward to a solid second half of the season.

But uncertainty has remained rife at the Enstone team, so much so that it wasn’t clear if they would take part in the Italian Grand Prix.

Former reserve driver Charles Pic took legal action for an alleged breach of contract, this meant that the bailiffs then moved to impound the Formula One cars.

Meanwhile Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone covered the wages of the team, whilst they go through their latest financial problems, a HM Revenue and Customs application to put the team into administration was adjourned until September 18th.

However Lotus deputy principal Federico Gastaldi remains defiant that the team will survive.

‘We believe in the team, we believe in Formula 1 and we believe we’ll still be here fighting for the rest of this season and beyond.’ Gastaldi told the BBC.

‘They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I can confirm that the team is very much alive but we have been going through a very strenuous workout programme this season,’

‘Things have certainly been tight and we’ve embraced the Japanese ‘just-in-time’ philosophy a little too literally on occasions. All this has been necessary, but we keep fighting the good fight.’


One route out of the current problems could be a takeover by French manufacturer Renault.

According to reports ahead of the race in Italy, Renault have made an offer to Genii Capital to buy back a 65% stake in the team which is valued at around £65million.

The offer is staggered over a 10-year period, but Renault would also put together a sponsorship package which would cover the team’s operating budget.

Former four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost could also be set to buy a stake in the team, the former team owner could become the new team principal if the takeover is completed.

That would leave current co-owner Genii Capital a 25% stake in the team which is for all intense and purposes funded by Renault and regular payments of around £540,000-a-month.

 

Your Comment