The German MotorsportTotal reports Lotus has an outstanding debt of 120 million euros and is close to becoming bankrupt. If Lotus fail to sign a deal with Infinity Racing, the team might not survive until 2014.
Owner Gerard Lopez was contacted by several investors in the last 2 years, but refused all of them. Bernie Ecclestone saved the team from bankruptcy last year, with Formula One Management paying some of Lotus’ debts. Even though new sponsorship from Burn and Clear brought some development money, it was not enough to make up for the colossal payments they face in 2013.
Raikkonen mentioned last weekend that his salary was not paid on time. Several employees, engineers and mechanics, have also complained about late payments, some of them even went on strike. Bernie Ecclestone was reportedly informed about the issue once again, but with several payments for the upcoming technical regulations knocking on the door, the F1 supremo will not be interested to save the team for the second time.
James Allison’s leave was the first indication that the team was in deep financial trouble. Raikkonen’s recent comments were the second. Lotus promised to secure a new deal with Infinity Racing to feature as their title sponsor, but the announcement did not come, despite given a deadline for the end of last week.
Kimi Raikkonen is now almost certain to leave Lotus next year, and with the deal with Infinity Racing in doubt, Lotus might not make it to the grid in 2014.