Lotus: What doesn’t kill you…


Federico Gastaldi has urged fans not to "believe any of the negative rumours" surrounding Lotus as they continue to fight the "good fight".

Lotus have made headlines in recent weeks for many of the wrong reasons.

While Romain Grosjean's podium at Spa was cause for celebration, a double DNF two weeks later at Italy poured cold water over that good mood.

Added to that, rumours about the team continue to swirl with some reports claiming they may not see out the season unless the proposed sale to Renault goes ahead.

Deputy team principal Gastaldi has quashed that, insisting that while funds are tight, Lotus will remain in F1.

"They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," he said.

"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.

"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. Don't believe any of the negative rumours you hear."

Pressed specifically about money and the reports of unpaid bills, Gastaldi said: "Everything is under control.

"Certainly, this is a lean-running year and you wouldn't want to attempt running much leaner. Thankfully we do have some fantastic partners, all of whom understand the situation and are tremendously supportive.

"I need to clarify some misunderstanding too, all our sponsors and partners have paid on time and some even ahead of time.

"We're certainly a pretty long way from being flush with money – unlike some of our rival teams – but we've done what has been necessary to make the team far more efficient and viable going forward."

As for the team's expected sale to Renault, Gastaldi feels it would be great for the team who would "relish" the chance to become a works outfit.

"It would be fantastic for the sport and a megapositive note for Enstone to see their return, but until any deal is signed, sealed and delivered we keep focused on our current tasks.

"It would be a very different project for Enstone and there's been a lot of change over the past few years since they last had a full works team entry. Here in Enstone we're used to adapting and making the most of situations. Certainly we would relish any opportunity to be a works team and welcome them back!"