Feb.11 (GMM) Gerard Lopez, the Lotus team owner, has played down suggestions the Enstone squad is still grappling with financial problems.

The team's problems of late last year, when Kimi Raikkonen went unpaid and crucial negotiations with the Quantum group faltered, are well known.

But Lopez said that the decision not to test the new car at Jerez recently is not because Lotus had no money.

"We said that there would be some (technical) trouble and it was actually the case," the Luxembourger, referring to the Red Bull-Renault crisis, told France's Infosport Plus.

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 E21
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus F1 E21

Photo by: XPB Images

"I know we had a lot of criticism, people said we lack the budget but that is wrong because it cost us the same to go (to Jerez) a week later," Lopez insisted.

Lotus gave its new E22 a successful rollout at Jerez on Saturday, a week after the other Renault powered teams, notably world champions Red Bull, faltered so badly.

"Maybe we are better prepared," said Lopez. "Maybe our strategy to wait and work at the factory was the better one.

"We will see in Bahrain. We will not mention the others, or at least not as much as they mention us."