Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted that the team does owe Kimi Raikkonen money, but he has no concerns about the future of the team or its image following this affair.
Having been confirmed at Ferrari for 2014, Raikkonen revealed on Thursday that the main reason for his departure from Lotus was because he had not been paid. Although Boullier did admit this was true, he also revealed that the situation was the same in 2012, with the team paying Raikkonen at the end of the season.
“The truth is that yes, we owe him money so that’s true,” Boullier said. “He’s going to be paid, that’s true too and if you want to have a little bit more of the story, last year in the same period it was the same story: we were owing him some money but at the end of the year he was fully paid. It’s just the way we manage our cash flow.”
Boullier rejected the notion of hiring a pay driver for 2014, preferring to bring in fresh sponsorship to ease the financial situation at Enstone.
“We now want to have more finance, more sponsors because we need to step up and guarantee some stability over a few years.
“That would then allow us to choose drivers on merit which is obviously first choice.”
Following Raikkonen’s departure, Lotus are thought to be considering either Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg as a potential teammate for Romain Grosjean.
Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas March 22-24, 2019 and in grand Texas fashion, the series and track kicked off the sale with appearances by Simon Pagenaud and Colton Herta in San Antonio and Austin respectively.
The CoTA race will be the second race of the 2019 season.
The highly anticipated debut of IndyCar at CoTA adds another marquee event to the track’s schedule along with Formula 1, World Rallycross and the Pirelli World Challenge.
Pagenaud was joined by retired San Antonio Sours player Brent Barry and local businessman Red McCombs as they visited the Alamo and world famous McNay Art Museum.
This will be IndyCar’s first trip to the track, but Pagenaud came within one position of winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2018. Driving for Team Penske, he started and second behind his teammate Josef Newgarden and finished a season-best second to Scott Dixon.
Pagenaud hopes to add to his current 11 victories after going winless in 2018.
After visting San Antonio, focus shifted to Austin where Herta was joined by Jay Frye, President of Competition and Operations at IndyCar and Bobby Epstein, Chairman of Circuit of the Americas.
Herta took to the streets of Austin and visited the Texas State Capitol building as part of his tour.
Herta, who will turn 19-years-old the week after IndyCar visits CoTA, will campaign for Rookie of the Year honors in 2019. He has one previous start in the series at Sonoma this September. He qualified 19th and completed all 85 laps before finishing 20th in the 25-car field.
In 33 starts in Indy Lights competition, Herta has six wins, 20 podium finishes and nine poles.