After finishing fourth in the 2013 constructors’ championship, Lotus appeared to have its feet firmly back under the top table in Formula 1 as Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean regularly finished on the podium in spite of Red Bull’s dominance.
However, just as the champion’s fortunes have changed in 2014, so have Lotus’. Grosjean has scored all eight of the team’s points as Pastor Maldonado has failed to live up to his race-winning credentials, although his financial backing has steadied the Enstone ship.
With 2014 already written off by the team, the focus is now on next season, and deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi confirmed that a number of commercial contracts have already been secured for 2015 amid speculation that the team could be one of four to fold at the end of the year.
“Yes, we are strong [commercially] which is satisfying,” he said. “We have several new partners in 2014 and we have lots of them signed for 2015 as well.
“I think that this reflects the confidence the team has as a commercial entity even though it has been a tough season on the track.
“As has been reported, we are due to post much reduced losses as a company very shortly. The immediate future looks very bright and everyone is pushing extra hard to prepare for 2015.”
Technical director Nick Chester has said that the 2015 car will be drastically different to the troublesome E22 that has raced this season, which should give the team a chance to change its fortunes.
“It will be quite different,” he confirmed. “There are rule changes to the front of the chassis and the nose, so all the cars will look different next year.
“On top of that, our engine installation and cooling layout will change quite a lot meaning that the car will be significantly different under the bodywork.”
Lotus is also thought to be on the verge of confirming a new engine deal with Mercedes, which would also give the team a big boost for the 2015 season.