Boullier hopes for Quantum deal to be completed soon

Leave a comment

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has said that the impending deal with Quantum Motorsports that will secure the team fresh investment should be completed next weekend despite rumors about the certainty of the deal.

The deal is thought to see Quantum – a consortium made up of several investors – claim a 35% stake in Lotus and alleviate the team’s financial uncertainty. As a result, Nico Hulkenberg would be able to sign for the 2014 season. However, given that this deal has been spoken about for several months with little movement, doubts are beginning to arise. Boullier is confident that the deal will be finalized soon though.

“Well, there is still some discussion ongoing, especially now between bankers,” Boullier said. “The process is not fully completed but I think part of it has been done, which is obviously a good sign for the weekend and we hope that everything is closed by early next week.”

Boullier also dismissed any questions about the integrity of Quantum’s leader, Mansoor Ijaz, insisting that the deal is concrete and sound.

“Fortunately we don’t have to base our judgement only on Google, with all respect to Google for what they are doing,” the Frenchman said when asked about Ijaz. “We have very serious proof of funds and good compliance of what is Quantum Motorsport.”

All eyes will now be on Lotus and Quantum to see if the deal does indeed go ahead, as it will have implication on the driver market for next season. Should Hulkenberg fail to get the seat, Pastor Maldonado is thought to be the next choice, but his financial backing from PDVSA is also in question.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”