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SBD Global/September 27, 2013/Franchises

Lotus Puts Team Finances Before Finding Replacement Driver For Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus has said that it "will put driver decisions on hold" while it sorts out the F1 team's "finances for next season," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Team Principal Eric Boullier said that "finalising a deal with new investors was more of a priority than hiring a replacement" for '07 world champion Kimi Räikkönen. Boullier: "I want to close this (deal), because it is important for the team. It will give it the financial stability for more than five years and it will give us also two steps forward in terms of revenue. After that, we can then think about the drivers for next year -- but also for 2015, 2016, and 2017." Lotus announced in June that a consortium of private investors, including an American hedge fund manager and an Abu Dhabi-based multinational business group, "had acquired a 35 percent stake." However, the deal "has yet to be finalised" (REUTERS, 9/26).
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