Lotus claims legal dispute with Pic is "under control"

Lotus is working on resolving a legal dispute with former test driver Charles Pic that has left it facing the risk of bailiff action over the Belgian Grand Prix.

Pic has gone to court over a claim that he was not given his full allocation of testing days when he signed up for the team last season.

It is understood that the claim resulted in bailiffs appearing at the Lotus garage at Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday night, before an agreement was made for them to leave without impounding any equipment.

Discussions between lawyers representing both parties are ongoing, and it is hoped that a settlement can be agreed before the need for further bailiff action later in the Spa weekend. This could result in the cars being impounded.

Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi told Motorsport.com: "We've been having an ongoing discourse with a previous driver for the team. An unexpected measure was taken late yesterday evening which caught us somewhat unawares; we don't travel with our team lawyer to every Grand Prix so there were quite a few telephone calls to try to understand what the other party was trying to achieve.

"We have the situation under control and there's no question of anything impacting on our race weekend. I'm sure we will find an amicable resolution to the situation for the future."

Curfew exemption

The presence of bailiffs meant team personnel had to remain in the garage until late evening on Thursday, which was in breach of curfew regulations.

The team successfully argued with the stewards that the curfew breach should not count as it was not related to technical work on the car.

A statement issued by the FIA said: "This incident will not be considered as one of the two exceptions under Article 30.19 of the Sporting Regulations and that there has been no breach of this Article.

"The reason is that this matter was neither sporting nor technical in nature and involved no work being performed by the team."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Charles Pic
Teams Lotus F1 Team
Article type Breaking news