Raikkonen bonus money costs Lotus more than they expected
24 November, 2012
Nov.24 (GMM) Lotus F1 team owner Gerard Lopez has blamed disgruntled potential partners for spreading negative reports about the team’s financial situation, but does admit that Kimi Raikkonen has cost them more than expected due to his sensational comeback season.
It had been rumoured that the Enstone based squad, owned by Luxembourg businessman Lopez’s Genii investment company, was having trouble paying Kimi Raikkonen and the team’s 500 staff members.
“We pay our bills on time just as well as the other teams,” Lopez is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“[The source of the rumours] was probably some people talking who wanted to join us as partners and are angry now because nothing happened,” added Lopez.
Lopez admitted that there was some truth to reports about Finn Raikkonen’s unpaid points bonus money.
“It’s been resolved,” he said. “We just didn’t expect him to get so many points, so it’s been quite expensive for us. We have agreed to a new payment system.
“But at the end it has paid off because we are getting more TV money. Kimi has his money,” Lopez insisted.
Lopez also hinted that, despite not yet confirming Romain Grosjean as Raikkonen’s 2013 teammate, the Frenchman will stay.
“We have put him under some pressure,” he smiled.
“The boy has sensational speed, but since he was punished for his crashes, he still has the handbrake on. I have told him to attack again.
“If he can get a better handle on it emotionally, he can achieve anything,” added Lopez.
Subbed by AJN.