Lotus F1 should formalize shortly the arrival of a new shareholder, Quantum Motorsport, and in the process, announce the recruitment of Nico Hulkenberg.
The pataques raised last weekend by the dispute between Kimi Raikkonen and the leaders of the Lotus team at least had the merit of advancing the delicate situation the team in Enstone. A few hours after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the investment group Quantum Motorsport has announced having reached an agreement with Genii Capital, the current shareholder to redeem 35% of the shares. “There is no doubt that agreement will take effect. Everything was prepared on our side, “revealed Mansoor Ijaz, the head of Quantum Motorsport at the BBC. This costs money, estimated at over a hundred million euros, while the debt of the Lotus be around € 150 million, will change the life of the team.
In the short term, first, because this agreement in principle definitely ensures the presence of Kimi Raikkonen at the Grands Prix of the United States and Brazil to finish the season. Great news as Lotus, currently fourth in the championship, continues to seek second place in the hierarchy manufacturers more profitable.
In the medium term, that is to say in 2014, the arrival of new investors will help to recruit promising Nico Hulkenberg. The arrival of German Sauber team is also one of the priorities of Quantum Motorsport. Luckily, it was also the first choice of Eric Boullier, the manager. “Team I would have preferred that the transition between Kimi Raikkonen and the next pilot, we think Nico Hulkenberg, is done more gently but in life, things do not always go as we would like, “said Ijaz Autosport.” I can tell you that the contract was prepared and ready, “says the businessman. Exit, therefore, the possibility of Pastor Maldonado slip into Lotus alongside Romain Grosjean. The Venezuelan and generous sponsors go knock on another door.
It is also long-term partnership that will change many things. The redemption of shares has to be beautiful in the minority, it is Quantum Motorsport will decide the broad guidelines of the team now. Genii Capital should gradually disengage retaining only participate once the debts have been cleared. Gerard Lopez, the current major shareholder, has also never closed the door to that possibility. “We have options. I do not want to go into details of these options, but they can afford to take control of the team to date. We will in coordination with our partner Genii Capital, “said Ijaz should quickly announce the arrival of a title sponsor for the 2014 season.