Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted that the team does owe Kimi Raikkonen money, but he has no concerns about the future of the team or its image following this affair.
Having been confirmed at Ferrari for 2014, Raikkonen revealed on Thursday that the main reason for his departure from Lotus was because he had not been paid. Although Boullier did admit this was true, he also revealed that the situation was the same in 2012, with the team paying Raikkonen at the end of the season.
“The truth is that yes, we owe him money so that’s true,” Boullier said. “He’s going to be paid, that’s true too and if you want to have a little bit more of the story, last year in the same period it was the same story: we were owing him some money but at the end of the year he was fully paid. It’s just the way we manage our cash flow.”
Boullier rejected the notion of hiring a pay driver for 2014, preferring to bring in fresh sponsorship to ease the financial situation at Enstone.
“We now want to have more finance, more sponsors because we need to step up and guarantee some stability over a few years.
“That would then allow us to choose drivers on merit which is obviously first choice.”
Following Raikkonen’s departure, Lotus are thought to be considering either Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg as a potential teammate for Romain Grosjean.