Lotus confirms F1 trucks are on way to Monza

Lotus eased concerns about its short-term future in Formula 1 on Tuesday after confirming its trucks were en route to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.

Speculation about the outfit has intensified dramatically over recent days, with the race team in a financial holding pattern as its owners await confirmation from Renault about potential takeover plans

Renault is eyeing taking on a majority stake in the team as part of a move that will bring about the return of a full works team for the French car manufacturer, but there are still big financial hurdles to overcome.

The uncertainty about where Lotus is heading in the long term is delivering headaches for it in the short term, however, as the Enstone-based team's owners have put a hold on investment.

Creditors list

The situation has meant development work has all but stopped, a number of bills have gone unpaid and it has been unable to shore up longer-term financial commitments that would generate much-needed cashflow.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone even revealed to The Times on Tuesday that he had helped fund a shortfall in cash that was needed to pay staff.

He told the newspaper: “I thought I should cover the wages of the people there to make sure they were all right and so that Lotus would at least get to Spa and, hopefully, to Italy.

“But they really need to make progress with Renault now to make sure everything is OK.” 

Going legal

With the creditors list growing, matters have started getting more serious.

In Hungary, Pirelli refused to release its tyres to Lotus until just before first practice due to an outstanding bill.

There were also dramatic scenes at the Belgian Grand Prix where, just hours after Romain Grosjean took a podium finish, bailiffs arrived and refused to let the team's trucks leave as part of a dispute with former test driver Charles Pic.

Lotus chiefs appears to have reached a compromise on that legal matter in the short term, however, and the team confirmed on Tuesday that it was clear to compete in Italy – and its trucks were on their way.

It is hoped that a clearer picture of Renault's plans will emerge this week, and when that is resolved it will likely have a knock-on impact on the French car manufacturer's 2016 engine plans with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

VIDEO: The magic of Monza on Inside GP


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Track Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Romain Grosjean
Teams Lotus F1 Team
Article type Breaking news