OCTOBER 29, 2016
Lotus chief Lopez to buy football team
Former Lotus chief Gerard Lopez has received the backing of his F1 friends as he prepares to take his next step in the sporting world.
Still a minor shareholder of the works Renault team, the Luxembourger reportedly looks set to buy Losc Lille, a French football club.
"He is so creative, with fifty ideas a second," enthused Cyril Abiteboul, a fellow Frenchman and Renault boss.
"He managed the Lotus situation in difficult circumstances, because you cannot imagine how difficult it is to have a private team, without the backing of a car manufacturer. But he knew how to do that," he told RMC.
Another Frenchman, former Lotus boss Eric Boullier, commented: "I'm pretty sure that Lille will have success in the coming years."
And Renault chief Frederic Vasseur added: "He is dynamic and enthusiastic.
"I think he will put the same energy into football that he put into racing. He is an outstanding businessman who loves sport.
"I am sure he will have a great management team at Lille."
However, that praise comes amid a generally negative perception of Lopez in the F1 paddock.
But Abiteboul said: "Who doesn't have a bad reputation in the paddock? It's a place where people like to talk."