Bernie ‘covered Lotus staff’s wages’

Date published: September 2 2015

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he helped to pay the wages of Lotus employees in August while the team have eased concerns they could be forced to skip the Italian Grand Prix.

The embattled Enstone squad have struggled financially for several years now and their woes were compounded a fortnight ago when court bailiffs initially refused to allow them to leave Belgium.

However, the team confirmed on Tuesday that their trucks are en route to Monza for this weekend's race while there is also light at the end of the tunnel in terms of their long-term future with Renault reportedly close to confirming a takeover of the squad.

They still have cash-flow problems though with Formula 1 commercial rights holder Ecclestone confirming that he had to bail them out recently.

"I thought I should cover the wages of the people there to make sure they were all right and so that Lotus would at least get to Spa and, hopefully, to Italy," he told The Times.

"But they really need to make progress with Renault now to make sure everything is OK."