MAY 27, 2013
Money and driver trouble for Lotus
Lotus has recorded the biggest financial loss in motor racing history, according to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.
A report in the Telegraph said the Enstone based team's latest accounts show an almost $86 million loss for 2012, due to declining sponsorship.
"No other F1 team filing publicly-available accounts has ever lost as much money," said Sylt.
There could be more bad news around the corner for Lotus, amid continuing rumours top driver Kimi Raikkonen could jump ship to Red Bull at the end of the year.
"That would be a shame for Lotus," F1 legend Alain Prost told Welt am Sonntag newspaper, "because he has done a great job for them. But it's his decision."
At the same time, Raikkonen's teammate Romain Grosjean is back in the wars, this time penalised ten places on the Montreal grid for crashing into Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday.
Double world champion Mika Hakkinen is not impressed.
"I think patting him on the head is not working anymore," the Finn told MTV3 broadcaster. "Something is going to happen and I'm sure the team is thinking about what to do."
Hakkinen's former McLaren teammate David Coulthard agrees: "It just goes to show speed is not enough.
"He's done a lot of damage and I don't think Lotus are flush with money," he said on BBC television. "They don't expect four crashes (in one weekend)."
Lotus, however, was also complaining about an erratic driver, following Sergio Perez's feisty race in the McLaren.
Raikkonen called the Mexican "stupid" and an "idiot" after their run-in at the chicane.
"Actually that (idiot) is a nice word compared with what he really said," said team boss Eric Boullier.