Lotus F1 Team owner Gerard Lopez has dismissed reports in the media stating that the Enstone-based outfit is on the verge of financial meltdown, setting the record straight in an interview with Autosport.
Lopez made clear that he did not usually respond to such reports, but he felt that it was right to speak out over the inaccuracies.
“In the €120 million debt, anybody half-smart can find out that number by going to Companies House records [in London] and will see that out of that over €90 million is not ‘real’ debt but shareholder loans made to the company,” Lopez explained.
“The salaries have always been paid on time and there has never been even a hint of a potential strike by our people at the factory. We usually don’t comment on these things, but in this case it’s unfair on the people working in the company to be saying things like that.”
The financial stability of Formula One teams has been a focus of the media ever since Sauber’s lack of backing became apparent a few months ago. However, the team appears to have been rescued thanks to fresh investment from Russia, although the exact details are still unknown.
For Lotus, these rumors come at a time when Kimi Raikkonen’s future with the team is still uncertain as he may favor a move to Red Bull in 2014 as a replacement for the retiring Mark Webber.