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Lopez: Lotus deserves more respect

Tuesday 24-December-2013 08:47

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez believes his team deserves some respect for their efforts in Formula One in 2013.

The Enstone outfit finished in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship this year, behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, although they had a chance of finishing as high as second until the final race in Brazil.

Lotus also had to cope without Kimi Raikkonen during the final two races after the Finn decided to have surgery on his back ahead of his move to Ferrari, following a pay dispute between the team and the driver.

He has since been replaced by 'pay driver' Pastor Maldonado, who brings substantial investment from the Venezeulan oil company PDVSA with him to the team.

"We were fighting for third place but the reality is that F1 being what it is, we are not being treated that way financially speaking. And what is true for us is true for other teams," Lopez told Autosport.

"We are running the 100 metres, but we actually start at the 200 metre mark.

"We find it a bit disrespectful when people start writing about our woes, or when other people comment on them.

"If I got the same amount of money [as the other top teams] I would just shut my mouth and focus on my job, I wouldn't comment on it. That is the part we find a bit ridiculous.

"I am looking for people to have respect and realise this is not corporate money being spent. We are beating people who have way more money and get way more money. To have a bit of respect is fair - not for us [the owners], [but] certainly for the people at the team.

"We want to live and succeed in F1. If it is just about surviving I don't know if our motivation is the same.

"That is the only reason why we opened up discussions to investors. We know we have probably one of the best teams in F1, and we know for sure we have pound-for-pound the best team in F1.

"We are trying to preserve that."

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