Lopez says Whitmarsh not only candidate for Lotus role 5 February, 2014 Gerard Lopez with Eric Bouliier Lotus Team Owner and newly instated Team Principal Gerard Lopez has played down reports that McLaren outcast Martin Whitmarsh is headed to Enstone. With Eric Boullier having moved to McLaren to be ‘Racing Director’, it was reported that Briton Whitmarsh was the obvious choice to replace the Frenchman. “There have been contacts with Martin,” Lopez is quoted by Italy’s blogFormula 1.it, “but he is not necessarily the only one. “We have talked to at least three other people.” The report said that the Whitmarsh deal could fall over on the issue of his salary, given recent staff cuts at the financially-troubled team. Meanwhile, after Lopez said recently that Lotus has a new sponsor in the form of Russia’s Yotaphone, it emerges that the parent company has in fact bought a stake in the Enstone based team. “This is not a mere sponsorship, we have acquired an equity stake,” the spokesman for Yota Devices is quoted. (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Reports on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.