Lopez says all is well at Lotus but reveals that Quantum deal is dead

16 January, 2014

Gerard Lopez says all is well at Lotus

Gerard Lopez says that all is well at Lotus

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has declared that the deal with Mansoor Ijaz’s Quantum Motorsport consortium has been cancelled as funds were “never forthcoming”, while confirming that the Ijaz is “not an owner of the team.”

The Quantum deal, which grabbed headlines last year, never materialised despite Lotus’ insistence – until recently – that it was a done deal.

Lopez has now confirmed, “The Quantum money never arrived. We have now killed the talks. For 2014, our budget is complete with our new sponsor PDVSA.”

However, on the www.mansoorijaz.com website there is still a claim that Ijaz is “an owner of the Lotus F1 Formula 1 team.”

But Ijaz contacted Grand Prix 247 by email, denying that the www.mansoorijaz.com website is his, adding it “has never been edited by myself or anyone associated with me.” Full transcript of this email here>>>

Mansoor Ijaz site has him as a Lotus F1 owner

Mansoor Ijaz says the website which has him as a Lotus F1 owner is not his

Upon contacting Genii regarding clarification of ownership of the Lotus F1 team, Grand Prix 247 received the following response, “We can confirm that the ownership of Lotus F1 Team limited remains unchanged and that Mr. Mansoor Ijaz is not an owner of Lotus F1 Team Limited, considering [that] the Quantum Motorsports Limited transaction has [been] not completed.”

Meanwhile Lopez has moved to end fears and ongoing speculation that the Enstone based Formula 1 team is on the verge of collapse, as recently the FIA issued an official F1 2014 entry list with Lotus marked with a conspicuous asterisk, sparking reports of financial doom.

“We just had the wrong team name on the list – namely the one of two years ago,” Lopez told Auto Motor und Sport on Wednesday. “I can assure you – everything is still the same.”

With regards to the team’s nine figure debt Lopez explained, Lopez told AM&S, “We have around €137 million of debt, of which more than €90 million debt is with ourselves [Genii]. Why would we demand the repayment of these [internal] debts? That makes no sense. We reconciled the money as marketing expenses. At the moment, it is important that the team goes forward.”

Kimi Raikkonen still waiting for full payment

Kimi Raikkonen still waiting for full payment

Despite the reassurance many still question if the now-terminally delayed and ultimately aborted Quantum buy-in has derailed Lotus ahead of the new season, who have turned to the lucratively-backed Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado to replace unpaid Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Lopez insists that Raikkonen has now been “partly paid”. “He will get the rest,” he added.

Davide Valsecchi, the team’s 2103 reserve driver, revealed recently, “According to my contract my salary was like that of a waiter.  [Lotus] haven’t paid me yet. I’m sure that as soon as they’ll be in a position to do so, they’ll solve their debt.”

But Lotus is also sitting out the forthcoming Jerez test, where every other team is expected to put the newly V6-powered single seaters through their paces for the first time. Like the entry list, Lotus’ absence will be conspicuous.

Lotus released E22 teaser picture on Twitter

Lotus released E22 teaser picture on Twitter

“We are very satisfied with the development of our car,” Lopez said, “which will perhaps look a bit different from the others. We believe it is better to use the next few weeks in the wind tunnel, which will give us more than one test on the track would.”

He insists that missing the Jerez test will not give Lotus’ rivals a head-start when it comes to understanding the new turbo ‘power unit’.

“There is also Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham testing (the Renault engine), and the findings will also benefit us,” said Lopez.

“Any changes that Renault makes before the Bahrain test will also be in our car,” he explained. “The first real test is in Bahrain. Before that, we can find more laptime in the factory.”

Lotus and Renault have yet to confirm an engine deal for 2014

Lotus and Renault have yet to confirm an engine deal for 2014

But, actually, Lotus or Renault never officially announced a new deal for 2014. Does the team even have an engine for 2014?

“We have the Renault engine,” Lopez insisted, “but Lotus is not just a customer of Renault. Our engineers for example have helped develop the KERS. So we have tried to agree that it is more than just an engine deal, which has delayed the negotiations somewhat.”

Finally, Lopez played down reports of a link with the Italian marque De Tomaso.

“There is currently nothing to it,” he said, but he did admit that he is looking into developing a carbon sports car, “De Tomaso is an option, but this has nothing to do with Formula 1.”(Apex-GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • O’Ferrari

    Colour me ‘not surprised. ‘

  • captain tortuga

    Lolpez finally admits that Loltus is near-bankrupt xD

    I think Loltus will be ok at the start (or have a chance anyway) but during the season they fall like a brick down the ranking.

    I really hope that Williams revives a bit this year , it looks good it must be said, and that Loltus will be looking at the rear-end-add of the Williams all season long haha

  • Spartacus

    This year we’re going to lose a couple of teams. Lotus might actually be one of them, although it would surprise me once the PDSV money comes in. I think the teams which fail will be more those at the back of the grid.

    I guess they got a quantum of cash from Quantum….

  • racebear

    Eventually, corruption forces the rich need to eat their own.

  • McLarenfan

    Lotus should sue Ijaz for every penny he hasn’t got. Shady B’stard needs to be taught a lesson.

  • Spartacus

    @McLarenfan,
    +1. :-)

  • matthew

    Who does lotus think they’re fooling? Skipping the test to spend more time in the wind tunnel? EVERY other team will have the factory running wind tests on models while the team is in jerez! Do they really think we’re stupid?

  • Tamburello_1994

    “Joke team” is NOT an harsh assessment apparently.

    Who folds first: Marussia or Lotus?

  • Taskmaster

    Should McLaren recover (very likely) and Williams be resurgent (longshot), Lotus will drop at least one place in the standings in 2014 behind the usual suspects Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren. Their 2013 results are a bit skewed by teams wandering off to start the 2014 effort, and Kimi’s early work – neither are going to be part of their 2014 effort, while their lack of funds and miscue on the front end of the car will put them off the mark out of the box. Grosjean is good, but not as good as he looked at the closing of last season. This will make it a very tight battle in the center with Lotus, Williams, Sauber, Force India and Torro Rosso all looking pretty much on the same plain. Marussia and Caterham will be slowly making their way to the door as they spend themselves to death with the new regs.

  • Empee

    “Lopez says all is well at Lotus but reveals that Quantum deal is dead.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how utterly dumb those who should know better can be.

  • PB

    @McLarenfan +1

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Joke Team indeed. Too bad romain has to stay with them

  • Empee

    @McLarenfan

    Why, so he’ll have more motivation to defraud other legitimate interests?

    On a related note, if I had a million to throw away, I’d give it to Mercedes on the condition that they counter Lotus’ #Where is Roscoe campaign with #Where is Hulk, #Where is Quantum, or #Ijizzed. They tried their damndest to prolong this farce even as anyone else with sense saw that they’d been hoodwinked, so I say continue to give them what they so desperately wanted.

    .

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Lotus insulted Kimi with a photo of two rabbits going at it when he signed for Ferrari. Now we find out who was fu(&ing who. They had no money, were losing top staff, couldn’t pay Kimi, were waiting on money from a known crook, and Kimi was the villain? These people deserve Crashjean and Crashdonado. They deserve to watch each race as their two drivers crash into each other at the first corner of every race. What a joke.

  • Dr. Azlan

    Lotus kept changing deadlines. If its not this race then money is available some other race, and then some other race…

  • Dr. Azlan

    Finally they say no money for the waiter as well.

  • stoner

    Lotus are not a joke team. If they had at least one decent driver in 2013, they could’ve challenged for the championship.

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