Lotus says it’s set financially for 2014

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Lotus says it has its financial house of cards in order for 2014, which would seem to quell the theory the team is missing the Jerez test later this month due to financial reasons.

Team principal Eric Bouiller told Autosport that several meetings over the past few weeks have solidified the team’s financial future, and that it can’t endure a repeat of the money-troubled 2013 campaign.

“I think that the team is in good shape now definitely with some guarantees over the operational finance needs,” he said. “I think now at least for 2014 and a little bit beyond, the team now can stabilize. We can bring a little bit of quietness, so not being as intense but still performing.”

He additionally said the team has a confirmed operating budget in place, rather than waiting on several factors to fall into place as it did last year. The Quantum investment group package was a lingering question mark all throughout 2013; Bouiller said discussions with Quantum are still ongoing into 2014.

It remains to be seen what effect missing the Jerez test will have on Lotus’ performance. The next test after Jerez is in Bahrain in February, where Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado would have their first public run in the new E22 chassis.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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