Just hours after Lotus produced a surprise first F1 podium finish since 2013 in the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix, its ongoing off-track issues returned to dampen the celebrations as bailiffs moved in to impound its cars as part of a dispute with former reserve driver Charles Pic.

The Frenchman has taken Lotus to court over his claim the team didn't honour a contract to give him more seat time in the car last season as part of his test and reserve driver duties.

With the case ongoing as it goes through an arbitration court, a court order meant Lotus was unable to take its cars from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with bailiffs arriving to enforce the transport ban just hours after Lotus celebrated Romain Grosjean's unexpected run to third.

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Though Lotus is confident it will quickly resolve this particular issue, the news comes as Lotus admits it is now in increasing financial trouble as creditors line up, thus making its run to the podium in Spa-Francorchamps - which in turn lifts it to fifth in the constructors' standings - all the more timely.

"We have had a very, very difficult season," Alan Permane told Sky Sports F1. "This is the worst season we have had financially and we have scrimped and scraped for parts and to get the cars on the track is a massive effort each week. So to be able to stick it on the podium is just unbelievable."

"It has been a very, very hard weekend for us, especially Friday - we've had all kinds of money problems as people know - and to be able to put that behind us and do the business on the track has been great,"

Indeed, Permane suggests the only way the Enstone-based team can continue is if its much mooted sale to Renault goes ahead, a scenario he says it is actively pushing for.

As it stands, though the French manufacturer - which originally sold its majority stake to the Genii Capital firm that morphed into Lotus in 2010 - has remained coy on the situation, it is understood that talks are at an advanced stage.

"The team is incredibly excited about it. We would welcome them back with open arms obviously. We've got a great relationship and a great partnership with Mercedes, but to be a works team again would be fantastic.

"Then we can build on what we have now, build on the chassis we have this year and then try to emulate what we did with Renault in 2005 and 2006 [when they won the world title] - that is what we want to do."