Lotus are closing on their much-needed injection of funds from Quantum Motorsports and the new investors are eager to sort out their driver situation.
Following last weekend’s revelation that Kimi Raikkonen has gone unpaid by Lotus since the start of the year, Quantum chairman Mansoor Ijaz said he will ensure Raikkonen gets his dues.
“We intend to not only make sure that they [the unpaid wages] are made whole, and then some, we are intending to also compensate our employees and management team,” Ijaz told Reuters. He added he expects Raikkonen to drive for the team in the final two races in the USA and Brazil.
The investors also indicated their preferred choice of driver for next season is Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg. Pastor Maldonado, who brings considerable backing from Venezuelan state petroleum company PDVSA, was also thought to be in the running for a drive.
“I wish the transition had been smoother between Kimi and the next driver, who we believe will be Nico Hulkenberg, but sometimes in life things don’t happen so clearly and as nicely as you would like them to,” Ijaz said to Autosport.
If Hulkenberg does join Lotus it will be the four different team he has started races for in as many seasons, following Williams in 2010, Force India in 2012 and Sauber this year.