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Hungarian Grand Prix: Lotus ‘on the limit financially’, admits Boullier

Amid renewed rumours that Kimi Raikkonen is not being paid on time, Lotus boss Eric Boullier insists that the team's financial situation is tough, but will improve.
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has admitted that the Enstone squad is still walking a financial tightrope while it waits for an injection of funds, but he remains optimistic that the situation will sort itself out in time to retain Kimi Raikkonen for 2014.

The Finn is a well-publicised target for Red Bull Racing as it looks to replace Mark Webber and suggestions that he has not been paid by his current employer – allied to overt conversations between manager Steve Robertson and senior RBR figures in Hungary – do little to quell speculation that he remains a rival to Daniel Ricciardo when it comes to partnering Sebastien Vettel in 2014.

Having admitted that payment was a little late in arriving, Boullier insisted earlier this month that Raikkonen had now received what he was due, but the Finn appeared unwilling to discuss the situation when questioned by Sky Sports at the Hungaroring.

Pressed on the subject of whether ongoing money problems would drive him from Lotus next season, Raikkonen shrugged before claiming that 'there is a certain point where a decision will be made', but refused to be drawn on the finer details of the situation.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has already said that the Finn's salary would not be an issue for the Milton Keynes operation – hardly surprising given that his reported base wage, at €3m according to Business Book GP, is substantially lower than either Vettel (€12m) or Webber (€10m) – although Raikkonen is understood to be on a substantial performance bonus, which is what hit Lotus hardest last season.

"Of course, finances are always a factor, but the difference between first and second - or second and third and fourth - is a significant amount in the constructors' world championship," Horner told the media in Budapest, "The financial element of it, if you don't make the right decision, is going to impact you anyway if you are not scoring constructors' points, so that isn't really an element in our decision making."

Boullier, meanwhile, insisted that he was not concerned by Lotus' apparently parlous state, pointing to a delayed payment from new investor Infinity as the cause.

“The situation is that we are pushing very hard for the team,” he told Sky Sports ahead of qualifying in Hungary, “We are on the limit of this team financially – maybe sometimes even spending more than we have.

“It is true that now we have some new investors in the pipeline and it is a very nice plan for us, but it takes time as it is a very ambitious plan. There might be some delay on it, but it is coming in definitely.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.07.2013- Free practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
26.07.2013- Free practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
25.07.2013- thursday Press Conference,  Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
26.07.2013- Free practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
06.06.2013- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
20.09.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
20.09.2014 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
20.09.2014 - Red Bull Racing RB10, detail
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Mechanics Red Bull work on the car of Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Mechanics Red Bull work on the car of Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10

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