Lotus' finances are improving

Saturday 16-August-2014 09:15

Gerard Lopez finds it amusing that Lotus' finances have made so many headlines and has implied that it's part of a "smear campaign".

Last season such was Lotus' financial situation that then-driver Kimi Raikkonen revealed that he had not been paid fully by the team.

The situation deteriorated to the point that he threatened not to race unless he was paid and it ultimately resulted in him leaving the team and heading to Ferrari.

Added to that, other team personnel were also paid late with the more dire rumours suggesting that Lotus' future in F1 was on the line.

The team, though, made this year's grid and yet they have still been dogged by reports that money is an issue.

This, Lopez says, is not true.

The Genii Group and Lotus team owner told The Independent: "It's absurd to say that Genii has financial problems. Yes, Lotus has lost money, like every other F1 team in the world.

"Running Lotus cost us about €50m [£40m] last year and the related debts are about €100m, but the business is supported by shareholders and partners and represents only 10 per cent of our overall companies; the rest of Genii is profitable.

"We support Lotus with debt, not sponsorship like the other big teams. Only $6m of debt in the holding company of F1 is from banks. People are trying to compare apples with pears when it should be apples and apples."

He added: "What's amusing to us is that Lotus - the David against the Goliaths - is always in the public eye more than the big teams like Red Bull and Ferrari. But F1 is a bitchy world and smear campaigns between rival teams are commonplace."

The newspaper reports that Lotus' finances are improving and that the accounts for 2013 will show that 'losses have been reduced with Lotus close to break-even, give or take €10m.'

And although this year's Championship has been a dismal one for the team out on track - just eight points from 11 grands prix - Lopez is positive the future looks brighter.

He concluded: "We have big plans and ambitions for next year. We wouldn't be in this business if we weren't out to win."

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