MAY 19, 2015
F1 not centre of universe says Lopez
When it comes to the last couple of years in formula one, Gerard Lopez admits to a couple of regrets.
The Luxembourger, owner of the Lotus team, has kept a low profile in the first quarter of the 2015 season, but he says he has simply been busy with his other businesses.
It is not because he was so vocal towards the end of last year about formula one's inequitable income distribution, even hinting at race boycotts.
In fact, Lopez told Spain's El Confidencial: "Last year, in Austin, I was the first one to speak about the financial problems with the sport in general.
"If I had known that so many were going to hear it, perhaps I would have said it sooner."
The Strategy Group, which met at Bernie Ecclestone's Biggin Hill facility last Thursday, has now been tasked with coming up with cost solutions for the sport.
The other regret Lopez admits to is pushing too hard a couple of years ago, when Kimi Raikkonen began to win races for the Enstone team.
Lotus began to build itself into a much bigger outfit, leading into its competitive collapse of 2014.
"If you have ambition and a slightly competitive character - and for me it is not 'slightly', it is a lot - it is hard not to go for it, but you can become your own worst enemy," he admitted.
"What I would not do again, perhaps, is that when you are fourth or fifth, try to gamble in going for first place, as we did two years ago," said Lopez.
Arguably to survive, Lotus had to dramatically regroup, but is now rebuilding its slashed workforce and beginning to develop a much better, Mercedes-powered car.
But Lopez says he remains concerned about F1's future.
"First, it is still a great sport," he said.
"But the danger is that in formula one, we all believe that it is irreplaceable. We seem to think that it is the centre of the universe, when in reality we have to adapt to what is happening outside.
"The technology that we have here is very strong. We are incredibly advanced," said Lopez.
"But the negative is that, with all of this technology, why do we have so few technological sponsors or investors? Of the ten most actively traded companies in the world, three are not technological, and the other seven are not here," he noted.