Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says the team prioritized paying “suppliers and key people” over Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen cited the delay in receiving his payments as one of the reasons why he has left the team to join Ferrari.
“It is public knowledge by now that we’ve been late in paying him, and he got upset,” Boullier told the official Formula One website.
Boullier said the team faced a cash-flow problem – which had also happened the year before:
“You have to decide where you want to spend your money. Our suppliers and key people who develop the car were our priority – maybe not Kimi. But Kimi was in a similar position last year and it was all settled by the end of the year. And Genii had the plan to do the same this year.”
Boullier was placed in charge of the team by Genii in 2010, when it was Renault. “The strategy behind the team was to build the team up and bring it back as a top team,” he explained.
“Genii gives us the means to achieve that, but obviously to go to the next level you need more means and more resources and it is no secret that for quite a while Genii have been looking for partners to make sure that we can bring more money to the team and have access to a bigger sponsor portfolio.
“We need to secure sponsors, as this is the only way to step up.”