Lopez replaces Boullier as Lotus team principal with immediate effect 24 January, 2014 Gerard Lopez with Eric Bouliier Press Release: In order to continue strengthening its management structure, to further increase Genii’s role in the team and to close the gap between its strategic, commercial and sporting activities, Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that its co-Chairman, Gérard Lopez, will combine his position on the board with the role of Team Principal with immediate effect. As a result, the other chairmanship responsibilities will be shared with co-Chairman Andy Ruhan. The team will announce the arrival of new commercial partners and sponsors when it unveils its 2014 car, the E22, at the beginning of the first Bahrain pre-season test, in February. Gerard Lopez with Romain Grosjean The team will also confirm its organisational structure for 2014 ahead of this test. The team management, car and partner portfolio will illustrate the team’s will and desire to continue its quest to become one of the strongest teams in Formula 1 in every sense. Gérard Lopez, co-Chairman and Team Principal: “Lotus F1 Team has never stood still and we head into what promises to be an exciting … season with an innovative new car, new partners and a new management structure at Enstone. Great things have been achieved over the past years and we need to continue this momentum.” “With this in mind, we are proud to announce that we have concluded an agreement with YotaPhone and its shareholders. YotaPhone shareholders will become important partners to Genii and YotaPhone a sponsor to the Lotus F1 team this year. We thank Eric [Boullier] for all his hard work over the past four years and we are confident we can continue to fight as one of the top teams in Formula 1 over the seasons ahead.” Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsLopez: We opened the door to FernandoAbiteboul says Lotus not a big loss for RenaultLopez denies Genii financial troublesThe difference a year makes for Lotus and WilliamsLotus in financial trouble as debts mountLotus upbeat as they head to SilverstoneLotus PR chief fired over gay tweetGastaldi: We have potential still to be fulfilledGastaldi: It’s been a tough, tough start to the yearLotus: We’ll get the best out of Pastor sebolonso Lotus is in total chaos. Boullier to McLaren is big news, so I would say, Boullier left on own initiative. Wise move, poor Lotus. Spartacus It’s a very nice way of saying “You’re Fired”. Guess losing Kimi and missing the first race does have it’s consequencies. Junior Johnson Hey guys this is grate news!Lopez is a very good team principil and im sure he can build good parts and updates for the new car im not sure hes as clever as horner and his clown newy but we will see.He is also very ritch and will also bring much needed money for the team and has already brought yottaphone in.Yottaphones are grate! I have one and i can say is prolly better even than an iphone! ninjamonk I didn’t see this coming and if he McLaren bound then its an even bigger surprise but I think he would do better than Whitmarsh. LotusFan Never liked Lopez. Is the head of an investment company qualified to be a F1 Team Principal? Fans confidence in this team is slipping fast Shin Wow.. Nice how they can spin a PR to such an extent that they make this out to be a good thing. It should have started with ‘We are said to announce that Bouliier has decided (been smart enough) to leave us, as we have put him to way too much s***, having to deal with continuous money issues, having to explain to Kimi & Romain why they’re not getting paid (on time or at all), having to deal with Quantum’s phantoms, and explaining to hundreds of staff that all is well, while the shareholders are running the company into the ground.’ Instead of following Williams model, which always begins with not spending more than you have, they decided to punch way above the financial weight. I feel bad for the Enstone employees, and I hope that sound management comes in that can make decisions without undue interference from shareholders mostly in it for the money/pay-back. Given Enstone a fixed budget and leave them to focus on racing without all the stress. You’re the ONLY team not able to attend the first test, great one Lopez! Lotus is going to be ugly in Blue & White PDVSA colors The way Lotus is going they may not even finish the 2014 season. RBC Shouldn’t they have sacked the idiot who spent a year believing in the Quantum deal lies? Oh he is the team owner, so they don’t sack him. But Boullier is the one that loved Grosjean so maybe it is good that he is gone, and Grosjean follows him. Taskmaster Let’s see… Eric the delusional blows the budget by $118MM, plays a lead role in the team being led into a Quantum black hole, misses what is probably the most important first practice session in modern F1 history, fails to hold onto the driver that obviously delivered success – then publicly contradicts Lopez on the status of the dead Quantum deal… and this tips him as a top candidate to run McLaren? Yeah, sure, why not. Or…. maybe…. Eric contradicted Lopez on the Quantum deal after playing a role in signing the financially disastrous deal with, then loss of, Raikkonnen in an embarrassing walk out; failed to convince Renault to include them as a works participant – losing that role to Red Bull; goofed up the new car – failing FIA scrutiny – requiring a redesign mid-stream which cost more millions and a missed critical practice where everyone else will be present – ending with his being fired by the board in an effort to reel the team back into line with Lopez put in place to protect his significant investment through direct control. Seems plausible… Note timing of the Quantum deal being officially squashed and new sponsorship deals closing – with Eric being sacked, and the board re-organizing… these things are rarely ad hoc or instantaneous responses to a team principle resigning to pursue other interests. Matthew I can’t understand the 180 some of you guys are making! Everyone always agreed that he was worthless, and now that hes gone its a big loss? Is it because he may go to mcclaren? I know mcclaren can do no wrong in some of your views, but hiring boulier would be foolish. He is not a leader and fails at everything he does. Good riddance imo. Shin Taskmaster, all the financial issues you are talking about + the Quantum disaster is outside of Bouliier’s scope, that is Lopez & Genii Cap. These are professional investors!. Genii (Lopez) is the one that bought a multi-million dollar operation, a top F1 team with hunderds of people and associated costs. He gave Bouliier the go-ahead to hire Kimi. He was doing the deal with Quantum, don’t suddenly turn thinks around.