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Grosjean: Lotus hit by off-track uncertainty

2015-07-24 20:25

FINANCIAL PROBLEMS HIT LOTUS: Romain Grosjean explains that Lotus' off-track woes is affecting its performance in 2015. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Uncertainty over Lotus's future is hurting the Formula 1 team's performance on the track, driver Romain Grosjean said on Friday (July 24) as financial issues again came to the fore at the 2015 Hungarian GP.

Grosjean told reporters after practice: "The development hasn't been as good as we wanted."

"It's not due to the people or the brains in the factory, we've got lots of ideas in the pipeline... but at the minute we just cannot bring them to the track.

"On the other hand, when you are thinking about selling the team, you won't put any more money in because it's all loss. So it's a bit of a waiting situation, and hopefully soon we'll know more and move ahead."

FINANCIAL WOES

Lotus, previously the title-winning Benetton and Renault outfit, faced a winding-up petition brought by creditors earlier in July 2015 although that matter was then resolved out of court.

The team, now racing with Mercedes engines, have had financial problems even though driver Pastor Maldonado has brought considerable backing from state oil company PDVSA.

Chief executive Matthew Carter has said repeatedly that Lotus are not for sale despite persistent paddock speculation linking them to a possible Renault takeover, with the French manufacturer weighing up its future in the sport.

Renault have struggled to make their V6 turbo hybrid engine competitive and are deliberating whether to buy a team, pull out entirely or continue as solely an engine supplier. They currently partner Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

Lotus's troubles were evident on Friday when Pirelli withheld their allocation of tyres until payment was confirmed shortly before the first practice session.

The team explained away the problem as the result of a banking technicality and both sides said the situation had been resolved satisfactorily.


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