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SBD Global/November 5, 2013/Finance

Quantum Motorsports Says Lotus Formula One Investment Deal Is Done

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Lotus's long-term F1 future received a major boost on Sunday night when investment group Quantum Motorsports said that "its deal to buy into the team was complete," according to Jonathan Noble of AUTOSPORT. After a weekend when questions about Lotus's financial state emerged following driver Kimi Räikkönen's threat to not race because he had not been paid, "major progress was made in the much heralded agreement." Mansoor Ijaz, who is chairman of the Quantum Motorsports consortium that includes Middle East investors, said that "his company had now completed its side of the contract and just needed final approval from team owner Genii Capital." Ijaz: "There is no question that the deal is definitely happening" (AUTOSPORT, 11/4). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin wrote Lotus is confident Räikkönen "will race in the last two grands prix of the season." Ijaz said that "once the long-awaited investment deal had been completed in the next few days, the team expected to sign Germany's Nico Hülkenberg as the Ferrari-bound Finn's replacement" for '14. Ijaz: "I met with Kimi's manager last night, Steve Robertson. ... I've apologized to Steve, we've apologized to Kimi. We intend to not only make sure that they (the unpaid wages) are made whole, and then some, we are intending to also compensate our employees and management team." Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier said that "the problems with his driver had been resolved but would not go into details." Boullier: "I cannot say anything about what has been agreed because this is confidential between both parties but it is all settled" (REUTERS, 11/4). The AFP reported Lotus is "poised to recruit" Hülkenberg next season. Ijaz: "As the incoming owners and shareholders, we have made it clear what our preference is." Ijaz added that "a contract for Hülkenberg had been drawn up and prepared and said that the German driver was excited about the move." Hülkenberg "is currently with Sauber" (AFP, 11/4).
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