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SBD Global/August 8, 2013/Finance

Lotus F1 Team Reportedly More Than $160M In Debt, Employees Receive Salaries Late

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Just weeks after the Sauber F1 team "has allegedly been saved, the next team, Lotus, is fighting for survival," according to Christian Nimmervoll of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. It has been known for more than a year that Lotus "is in financial trouble." New information, however, suggests that the situation "is more dire than previously expected." The team has reported a debt of more than €120M ($160M). At the end of last season, it seemed the team "found a solution in the form of new investors." However, the deal with Coca-Cola subsidiary Burn "was only a drop in the bucket -- and the big deal with Honeywell never happened." Again and again, team employees "have reportedly received their salaries late." In addition "to paddock rumors that report of empty warehouses at the Lotus factory -- because the team can't afford to restock them -- and past due bills of its suppliers and service providers," the relationship between F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Gerald Lopez of team owner Genii Capital "went severely cold in the past year." It has been reported that Ecclestone "does not directly communicate with Lopez, only through Team Principal Eric Boullier" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 8/5).
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