Lotus insists that it will be on the F1 grid this season, despite concerns over its financial health following the apparent collapse of its deal with Quantum Motorsports.
The Enstone team appeared as a provisional entry on the line-up issued by the FIA last week, and has already announced that it will miss the opening test of the year, but chairman Gerard Lopez maintains that there is no doubt over its participation, with the sponsorship funds being brought by Pastor Maldonado more than enough to ensure its participation despite doubts over the 35 per cent buy-in arranged with Quantum.
Maldonado arrives from Williams with a bucketful of PDVSA cash, having been picked ahead of Nico Hulkenberg to partner Romain Grosjean. The Venezuelan replaces Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen, who ended his association with Lotus due, in part, to unpaid wages. Reserve driver Davide Valsecchi this week revealed that he, too, had yet to be paid by the team, and the ongoing wait for funds from Quantum has caused questions over Lotus' future to be raised once again.
"Nothing has changed - we'll be there," Lopez told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
, revealing that the team had run out of patience with its apparent saviour.
"The Quantum money never arrived, [so] we broke things off with them, [but] we have a full budget for 2014 with our new sponsor PDVSA, and we won't run up any more debts.”
Lopez confirmed that his Genii Capital firm – which remains the team's major creditor - would cover the losses incurred during its pursuit of fourth place in the constructors' table last season. He also insisted that Raikkonen – and presumably Valsecchi – would receive any outstanding salary.