financially struggling Lotus..?? have you not noticed the increase in sponsorship on that car? the prize money for points is mounting too. Lotus is doing just fine.
Really? Consider the following:
- They've posted accumulated losses of £55 million for 2010 and 2011. They will probably report a better result i 2012, due to that Proton/DBR-Hicom has waived a big loan in compensation for terminating the sponsorship deal beween Group Lotus and Lotus F1. That will strengthen their balancesheet, but doesn't give them anymore cash.
- Their main sponsor is GenII Capital - their owner. You don't make money by selling to yourself...... GenII is still funding quite a bit of the team and even this might be considered a marketing expense for GenII, I wonder how long they can afford it.
- The new deals with Unilever and Microsoft are not big money. Quite the contrary apparantly - sold cheap to raise the profile and attarct other sponsors.
- They do race by race sponsorship deals, like with Batman at Silverstone, which indicates they need money.
- I'd believe they had favourable terms on engines previously, but now they are a customer and have to pay Renault going rate.
- There were payments issues with Renault for the engines last year, but it was kept quiet as a conflict over payments would be embarrasing for both parties.
- The former Renault F1 team were bought by GenII with Reanult money, i.e. a favourable loan from Renault. I wonder if this is settled? Lotus f1 still have quite a bit debt, allthough it wouldn't include the Reanult loan, which would be in GenIIs books.
- Raikkonen doesn't come cheap and is a drain on the cashflow (allthough he is bringing in quite a bit of points which will give them more Bernie-money, especially if they manage to finish third in the constructors championship).
I'd think 2012 is make or brake for Lotus F1. GenII has spent a lot of money on their F1 operation and is looking to attract big backing based on a good 2012 - and thus starting to get some money back. The question is whether they can keep the operation going as we know it without a major cash-injection?
BTW, Lopez have recently been showing off his incredible car colletion. Is he planning a sale, and if so, why?
The uncertainty around Lotus F1 might therefore put Williams in a stronger position towards Renault, particularly if the drivers start capitalizing on the speed of the car.
Edited by Hans V, 11 July 2012 - 08:39.