Lotus Formula One Team ‘Confident’ Ahead Of London High Court Hearing

Grosjean's Lotus in Suzuka
Grosjean's Lotus in Suzuka

The Lotus F1 team is confident that it can "escape going into administration even if money owed to Britain's tax authorities remains outstanding before a London High Court hearing on Monday," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.

Lotus CEO Matthew Carter said, "Physically, cash doesn’t have to be in a bank account. There needs to be intention, a show that things are heading in the right direction. That’s what everyone wants. There’s clearly movement. I know from our level that things have moved in the last seven days. We’re confident." Lotus is "hoping to be rescued by Renault."

However takeover talks "have dragged on, with Renault still to rule out leaving the sport entirely after years as engine suppliers, and a series of creditors have begun to lose patience."

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who is not in Japan, "arranged for the team's hungry mechanics to be fed with staff of the VIP paddock club." Carter said that "the failures of the Caterham and Marussia teams last year, with both placed into administration and only the latter finding a new owner and emerging to fight another day, had made creditors nervous." Reuters

The BBC reported with the Renault deal dragging on, Lotus's current owner Genii Capital has "been trying to put as little money as possible into the team."

The result "has been unpaid bills, a cash-flow shortfall and problems for the team operationally." Lotus announced last week that Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado "would be staying at the team next year but the team's other driver has yet to be decided." Carter said their British reserve driver Jolyon Palmer was "a candidate." BBC

AUTOSPORT reported despite Justice Birrs' remarks, there "is a possibility" Lotus's confirmation of Maldonado as one of its drivers for '16 — triggering forthcoming payments from backer PDVSA — "may satisfy HMRC and prove enough for the judge dismiss the case."

Carter recognizes the fact Lotus cannot pay the £27,000 ($41,000) "required to unlock its hospitality unit is a sad reflection on the position the team finds itself in."

Explaining the situation, Carter said, "We have to make certain decisions as to what we pay and what priorities we make payments in. The hospitality at the circuit wasn't one of the priorities at the moment." Autosport

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