(A few interesting points more there:
- Lotus got the expenditure and staff of a top team (~550 employees), but no corresponding income
- Räikkönen earned a massive 17 million Euros this year (salary + bonus)
- Although Lotus finished off the deals with Burn and Honeywell, there is supposed to be a financing gap of 30 millions in 2013
- Debts at the moment: 80 millions)
This stands in stark contrast to Lopez' recent statements in Gazzetta dello Sport, quoted in this autosport article ("I have never wanted to sell the team (...)") and another article from this site ("Rumours surfaced over the Indian Grand Prix weekend that the team was about to be sold to Proton, but these are understood to be wide of the mark"). Apparently there was more to the rumours than we've thought at first.
The financial problems of Lotus as portrayed in this article are beyond what I've known and expected so far. The question that the rumoured sale of the team raises, again, is how committed the current owners are to their project and F1 in general.
Lopez openly talked about Lotus being a business platform, a "bait" for their business partners already earlier this year, and made it clear that first and foremost, it has to make sense from a financial point of view (interview in German again, sorry folks ;) - interestingly the increasing value of the team after Kimi's victory is already mentioned here, just when behind the scenes this might have been the actual reason for Lopez still being in F1 at all).
From all we know, Lotus, despite a successful campaign in 2012 and the acquisition of new major sponsors, is set to face a difficult year. Can the F1 project work out with it's current owners? Is the team a sinking ship or is it just on the (risky) rise to a place among the top three?
Edited by Jovanotti, 10 January 2013 - 13:20.