Grosjean: I have not yet been informed if Lotus financial problems are over
2 December, 2013
Romain Grosjean has admitted he is not sure if Lotus’ money problems have been solved, but at the same time says that it is nice that he has been confirmed by the team for 2014.
The Enstone based team had been delaying signing its preferred option to replace the disgruntled Kimi Raikkonen – Nico Hulkenberg – until the money from the much-vaunted ‘Quantum’ investment came through.
Ultimately, while re-signing the impressive Frenchman Grosjean, Lotus announced on Friday that his new teammate will be Pastor Maldonado. The press release made no mention of the Venezuelan’s backing, but it is well known that he brings around €35-40 million from PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company.
After the news broke, some said it was a clear sign that the Quantum money will never arrive. But others insisted the deal headed by controversial businessman Mansoor Ijaz is still on the cards.
Asked if he has been told Lotus’ financial problems are now over, Grosjean told France’s L’Equipe: “Not yet, but I am going to see [team boss] Eric [Boullier] on Monday. We will discuss it then.”
Asked if Friday’s news was a relief, he told RMC: “I don’t know if relief is the right word, but it’s always nice to be confirmed sooner rather than later. The team had other things to deal with beforehand, but we had always wanted to continue to work together.”
Grosjean said that he is confident that Lotus will handle the transition to the radical new 2014 rules well, but acknowledged: “We will have to have the budget, because [the season] will be expensive and complicated.”
And asked if he has concerns that he will not be paid in 2014, the 27-year-old answered: “I have no problem. My motivation and my work have never changed during the season. It is a personal matter between myself and my employer.”
The increasingly dubious investment by the Mansoor Ijaz led Quantum Motorsport is, according to sources within Lotus and Quantum, going to happen in one form or another, but evidently not in time to secure the services of Nico Hulkenberg who was their preferred choice of driver for 2014. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.