Team owner Gerard Lopez insists that he and his organisation are committed to Formula 1, at least for now and he is adamant that the team is not for sale.
In the past weeks, he has consistently played down the importance of the confirmed news that Lotus, the Enstone based team formerly known as Renault and Benetton, has debts of € 120 million.
He told Russia’s Formula 1news.ru that the actual number is not significant to Genii, the investment firm he leads.
So, asked if he is sticking with Formula 1 and with the name Lotus, Lopez answered: “I think so. I have already said that we will stay in Formula 1 as long as we are interested. That was the case two years ago, also last year, and nothing has changed.
“However, not everything depends on us. I cannot say what Formula 1 will be like in three to five years. Our interest depends a lot on whether we are among the best teams in the championship. To win, to fight [with] the best – this is our main motivation to stay,” he insisted.
Indeed, he said that Lotus cannot be compared to Mercedes or Ferrari, given that Genii “do not sell cars”.
Formula 1, for an investment firm, “is a platform, not an advertising space”, said Lopez.
“Generally, having an F1 team in itself is definitely not a project that can bring profits. For us it is enough that the team is just not unprofitable,” he added.
For that reason, Lopez said, Lotus is not for sale.
“We do not hide that we are looking for partners, we talk about it openly, but we are not talking about a sale of the team. It’s not the same thing,” he insisted. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.