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Lotus F1 boss: Ignore 'negative rumours'

2015-09-14 09:33

STRUGGLING F1 TEAM: Lotus has played down claims that it is on the verge of collapse and urges fans to ignore 'negative rumours'. Image: AP / Geert Vanden Wijngaert

London, England - Financially troubled Lotus has urged fans to ignore any 'negative rumours' swirling around the Formula 1 team ahead of the Singapore GP.

The teams is hoping former owners Renault will retake control as it faces numerous legal obstacles in 2015, the latest being an action by Britain's tax authorities.

An application in the London High Court earlier in September by the Revenue and Customs to have Lotus put into administration was adjourned to next Friday (September 25), when practice starts under the Singapore floodlights.

Stranded in Belgium

Before that, Lotus had their cars impounded by bailiffs in Belgium - where Romain Grosjean finished third - and blamed a banking hitch for Pirelli withholding tyres before practice in Hungary.

Deputy principal Federico Gastaldi: "They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 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 F1 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."

Lotus have said the Belgian problem, involving a dispute with former reserve Charles Pic, has been resolved and the High Court hearing will also be settled.

Headed into insolvency?

Chief executive Matthew Carter told autosport.com: "I can positively say that process will be dealt with before it gets back in front of the judge. Nobody wants the team to head into insolvency, so it's just a question of making sure people get paid and things are done in the right way."

Gastaldi, in a preview for next week's race, said everything was under control.

He said: "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."

He said all sponsors and partners had paid on time and some in advance.

Renault's return, to a team they sold after a Singapore GP race-fixing scandal in 2009, would be welcomed with open arms "but until any deal is signed, sealed and delivered we keep focused on our current tasks".


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