Quantum boss adamant Lotus deal is on but Lopez warns time is running out

Mansoor Ijaz  speaks to journalist Joe Saward in Austin

Mansoor Ijaz speaks to journalist Joe Saward in Austin

Quantum Motorsport, the investment group looking to buy 35 per cent of Lotus, has denied once again that the deal is collapsing, and it appears that team owner Gerard Lopez’s patience is running out.

“They have very little time,” Lopez told Auto Motor und Sport. “Either they fulfil their contractual obligations, or we must draw our conclusions.”

The Quantum group is led by Mansour Ijaz, who after playing down speculation in Abu Dhabi recently, has now travelled to Texas with the same message.

“There is no question that the deal is [not] going to work out,” he insisted in the Austin paddock.

Ijaz said the hefty flow of cash has been held up by red tape, and promised to apologise for the holdup by paying bonuses out of his own pocket.

Lotus, however, cannot afford to simply go on hoping. It is reported that Pastor Maldonado, with his millions in PDVSA backing in tow, is now definitely headed to Enstone to guarantee the team’s 2014 budget.

“I have read that it is being reported in Venezuela that [the deal] is done,” Lopez said, “but nothing is signed yet. He is a serious candidate for next year.

“If other candidates are dropping out it’s because they have signed somewhere else. We are taking our time, just as we did with Romain [Grosjean last year],” Lopez explained.

“If what actually happened was as it was reported,” he smiled, “[Grosjean] would now be working in the bank.”

Lopez admitted, however, that Lotus needs to secure its future financially.

“I will need a sponsor,” he said. “Whether the money comes with a driver or not, I don’t care – I would also take Fernando Alonso with his sponsor.”

He hit out at the press, at Lotus’ rivals and the Formula 1 system in general for a lot of the negative stories about the team’s finances.

“Some Formula 1 journalists pretend [that] they work for the Wall Street Journal,” he started. “But many of the these stories are deliberately put around the paddock by people who get more money from the rights holders for the same or a worse job as we do.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • captain tortuga

    Oh god, i hope that the Quantum deal proceeds.. but my understanding is that PDVSA-director spilled the beans, and Crashtor will be paying an approximate 30-40Million to be able to go around crashing cars of real F1-drivers..

    I saw a nice quote yesterday..

    =I would not trust Maldonado parking my banger-racer.=

  • Mr Bojanglis

    Lopez, Lotus and Luxemburg. what a Crooked Character is that one. never ending stories That’s a Luxemburger for U

  • McLarenfan

    @ captain tortuga: Thank you!
    I hope that this Quantum Motorsport is genuine and they get through the red tape before Lopez puts his moniker down letting Venezuela’s Psycho out on to a track with his distorted version of reality now he is obviously off his medication. I honestly fear for the marshals, fans & pit crews. I swear looking at the interview with Nat Pink’s you could see the insanity in his eyes and body language. The Carbon Cruncher would put Lotus financially out of contention for a top ten placing next season and at the same time place them in administration for all the liability claims.

  • The Pessimist

    Can somebody tell Mansoor Ijaz to shut his dirty mouth and get out of here,he owes 1.4 million to BSI Bank but talks about paying from his pocket to rescue Lotus,he is the attention seeking B*****d and not a genuine businessman this scrum.

  • maria

    Mansoor Ijaz has connections to former CIA directors and is a power broker at US government. His sudden interest in F1 is very shady at best. This whole deal might be a scam. Unfortunate for the Hulk.