| Source: autosport.com | grandprix247.com |
Lotus’s long-term Formula 1 future received a major boost on Sunday night when investment group Quantum Motorsports said its deal to buy into the team was complete.
After a weekend when questions about Lotus’s financial state emerged following Kimi Raikkonen’s threat to not race because he had not been paid, major progress was made in the much heralded agreement.
Mansoor Ijaz, who is the head of the Quantum Motorsports consortium that includes Middle East investors, said that his company had now completed its side of the contract and just needed final approval from team owner Genii Capital.
“There is no question that the deal is definitely happening,” he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT about the latest situation.
“I will even go out as far as to say that it has now been completed from our side in terms of what has to be done.”
Quantum plans to buy a 35 per cent stake in the team through new shares issued by majority owner Genii.
There are also options for it to potentially take over the entire running of the team in the future, should Genii wish to scale down its involvement.
“We have options – I won’t go into the details of those options – but the options do allow us in a fixed amount of time to take control of the team later on,” Ijaz added. “We will do that in a way that is very co-ordinated with our partners at Genii.”
Ijaz previously spoke of Kimi in June 2013.
APOLOGY TO RAIKKONEN
Ijaz revealed that the major investment deal will allow Lotus to pay off its debts, pay off suppliers – and also settle its pay dispute with Raikkonen.
Raikkonen has now reached a deal with Lotus to sort out his issues and will now race in the final two grands prix of the 2013 season.
Ijaz said he was sorry for allowing the matter to get so out of hand after meeting with Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson on Saturday night.
“I met with Kimi’s manager last night, Steve Robertson…I’ve apologised to Steve, we’ve apologised to Kimi,” said Ijaz. “We intend to not only make sure that they are made whole, and then some, but we are intending also to compensate our employees and management team for having taken it on the chin from you guys [the media] in recent weeks.”
“I am confident that he (Raikkonen) will run the last two races and fulfil his professional obligations to us and us to him,” added the US-based businessman.
Lotus has not yet officially confirmed the completion of the Quantum deal, but team principal Eric Boullier said on Sunday that he hoped an announcement could be made in the next 48 hours.
“I will not comment on this yet,” he said. “I can’t say anything yet. I think by Tuesday. I certainly hope so.”
5 thoughts on “New Lotus investor Quantum apologise to Raikkonen”
Too little too late.
Perhaps Kimi is wondering now why he even signed for Ferrari, what with it’s dismal form since the break. At least Lotus are remarkable with tyre degradation, and now there’s a big sponsor onboard. Ferrari’s form of late – italian car on Italian rubber – is peculiar and unexplainable, and it’s unlikely to recover any time soon.
Good luck Kimi!
Lotus will be nowhere in terms of performance next year. This changes nothing. Now Lotus’ survival financially looks more likely but do they have what it takes to build a good car from scratch under new regulations having lost so many key names?
Ferrari are very likely to be far ahead of Lotus in Melbourne in March of next year.
Ferrari will not be a match for Red Bull next year. RB’s hugely successful aerodynamics of this year will probably be taken into 2014. They will continue to dominate until the others get it right – which won’t be in a while. Yawn.
Reblogged this on [Another] KiRaidesu no Sekai and commented:
And after they paid Kimi’s salary, they got broke again. lol
“I have enormous respect for Kimi as a driver,” said Ijaz. “I actually love his mercurial personality.
“But it is not a matter of having regret.
“We live in a world where many things happen beyond our control and this was one of [those] situations. It wasn’t possible for us.
“We did everything we could. We moved this way, they blocked; we moved that way, they blocked; we moved that way, and finally we got it through.
“But by that time people had other things that they needed to do.
“Everyone has their own time cycle over which they make decisions. We can’t change that.
“The answer is that I never will say I regret that he left because we have a beautiful and bright horizon with Nico Hulkenberg in front of us.
“But, at the same time I can’t in any shape or form take away what he meant to this team and what he means to the sport of F1.
“He drives with passion and a zest that I have seen in very few other drivers in my lifetime.
“He takes risks that not many drivers take. Would we have loved to have had him for another year or two? Yes.
“But we wish him well at Ferrari and we look forward to standing next to him, one step higher, on the podium next year in every race we possibly can.”