Lopez confident of Lotus future

Thursday 16-January-2014 12:02

This season will not see a repeat of last year's financial woes at Lotus, that's according to chairman Gerard Lopez.

Last year Lotus' financial troubles made headlines when it emerged that the team was struggling to pay staff including lead driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Threatening to boycott the final two races of the season unless the team came through with the money, Raikkonen eventually sat them out when he decided to go for an operation on his back.

This season, though, Lopez is confident his team won't see a repeat of the negative headlines after signing Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA millions as Raikkonen's replacement.

"We have a full budget for 2014 with our new sponsor PDVSA, We won't run up any more debts," Lopez told Auto Motor und Sport when asked about the team's future.

"We have around 114 million pounds of debt."

And some of that debt still relates to Raikkonen's unpaid wages.

Asked whether the situation with Raikkonen had been settled, Lopez stated: "He's got part of his salary and he'll get the rest."

As for the team's decision not to attend the opening test at Jerez, Lopez claimed that was because little would be learnt on the cool track.

"We arrive at Jerez with 15 or 16 degrees," he said. "What can you learn about tyres and cooling? Let us all fly directly to Bahrain.

"The first real test will be held in Bahrain. Before that we can find more lap time at the factory.

"We briefly considered to go with the old car for the tyres but the engineers advised against it. Jerez as such a special surface that you cannot learn much."

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