Valsecchi: My salary was like that of a waiter, but Lotus hasn’t paid me yet

End of the road for Davide Valsecchi and Lotus

End of the road for Davide Valsecchi and Lotus

As fears about Lotus’ well being mount, their 2013 reserve driver Davide Valsecchi has revealed he has not yet been paid by the Enstone based team, as he looks set to sever ties with them.

As reigning GP2 champion, 26-year-old Italian Valsecchi served last year as Lotus’ reserve driver, but he admitted last week he is now likely to exit.

“After a 2013 season in which I travelled a lot but did not get on the track, I want to go back to wearing overalls and a helmet,” he had said.

When Lotus overlooked him late last season as Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement in favour of Heikki Kovalainen, Valsecchi admitted that the decision made him “angry”.

Davide Valsecchi testing for Lotus at Silverstone

Davide Valsecchi testing for Lotus at Silverstone

“I thought that, in their choice, my willpower would prevail over a driver like the Finn, who is at the end of his career,” he told the Italian website Formula this week.

Valsecchi admits that he is likely to leave Formula 1 because powerful pay-drivers “such as the Mexicans or Venezuelans” have priced drivers like him out of the market.

“I don’t conceal my desire to get into Indycar,” he said.

In the meantime, there are real fears among Lotus’ fans about financial the health of the Enstone based team.

Although highly competitive, the black and gold liveried outfit finished last season amid headlines about its elusive Quantum buy-in deal, and now Lotus has been only conditionally listed on the 2014 entry list.

The very latest news is that team CEO Patrick Louis has resigned.

Davide Valsecchi with Kimi Raikkonen

Davide Valsecchi with Kimi Raikkonen

It is believed that Lotus, having lost Finn Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari because he wasn’t paid, is struggling to raise its more than $2 million FIA entry fee for 2014.

Now, Valsecchi has admitted the team has failed even to pay his small 2013 salary.

“According to my contract my salary was like that of a waiter,” he revealed. “They haven’t paid me yet. I’m sure that as soon as they’ll be in a position to do so, they’ll solve their debt.”

Valsecchi said the Kovalainen affair made him angry and “bitter”, but he trusts Lotus to eventually pay, saying that “the team has always behaved well towards me”.

“I’m very grateful to Lotus for having chosen me as third driver, without asking anything in return. I can’t complain,” he said.

“Try to look for a job as third driver without paying a single euro! We’re talking about a team that could sell a seat for at least two or three million euros.” (GMM)

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  • LotusFan

    Hope this team is competitive and is on the grid in 2014. As for drivers like Valsecchi, best to go to Indycars or some place where they can actually drive.

  • Also

    As for teams like Lotus, best to go to Indycars or some place where they can actually afford to race.

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Sensed a bit of racism. But if your not getting paid I could understand his anger. He should go to a team that will be on the grid this year. They are a joke. So far every team is going to jerez so lotus is full of rubbish! Good luck mate

  • Max Smoot

    Now that Grosjean seems to have found his stride it would be wise to hunt around for a more secure situation — his stock has never been higher.

  • Jackal

    What would be soooo funny is if Williams out-perform Lotus and Maldonado’s move would’ve been for nothing lol

  • Hawk

    And this is the team that competed favourably with the Merc and Ferrari. They must be geniuses.

  • Cynical_F1_fan

    I doubt Lotus will be able to solve their financial problems before the first race in Melbourne. If they can’t even pay a reserve driver what they owe him they won’t be able to put a car on track regularly and pay for all the travel etc.

  • the fan

    id bet grosjean isnt getting paid fully as well. he might be sticking to lotus since no team wants him anyway.

  • Zombie Jebus

    LOLtus haven’t paid anyone… including Renault. It’s going to be hard to test and race without engines!!!

  • Michael Crichton

    What a sad, sad state Formula 1 is in.

  • sebolonso

    Lotus reminds of a soap opera where normal imagination is not enough to forecast what happens next. Normally genre can be fun, but in this case we are talking about almost criminal sad melodrama, where internationally operating slimes benefits on the cost off employees and sub contractors. It is time FIA and Bernie do something about this particular case. This mess should be cleaned up before next season starts.

  • Badman Jose

    @ WestMclarenMercedes

    Say What, Nuts!

    F1 needs Lotus on the grid..Bernie may provide some help$
    I don’t think we will see the fin in F1 2014..
    Valsecchi keep looking me man, don’t give up..


  • Dr. Azlan

    Maldonado’s money hasn’t arrived yet. Still patiently waiting for it.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Lotus in death spiral here. Such a shame to see competitive teams on the circuit, Struggle to survive on the financial side. Not a very successful business model to build on.

    Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Lotus (and possibly Sauber) “belly up” before season’s end.

  • matthew

    I don’t want to say this… But I agree that lotus is in a death spiral. I think they’ll be gone by 2016. I f we’re lucky, they’ll be bought by someone with resources so we can hopefully see lotus get the glory that chapman deserved. Also… Anyone who thinks bernie would do anything for lotus needs a slap upside the head.

  • matthew

    Sorry to double post, but I wanted to point out that every single one of lotuses problems are due to management. They have amazing workers in their factory.