There are reports of financial trouble at Lotus’ team owners. The Luxembourg newspaper L’Essentiel reports that Gravity Sport, the driver management arm of Lotus’ team owner Genii, was placed in voluntary administration at the request of its minority shareholder.
The minor shareholder has a 33 per cent stake, with the rest held by Lotus team owners Gerard Lopez and Eric Lux.
According to the reports, Gravity – handling the careers of Romain Grosjean and others – is EUR 26 million in debt, even though Genii reportedly insists it remains able to continue operating.
However, “liquidators were appointed at an extraordinary general meeting on March 9 to restructure or sell the company”.
But a spokesman was quoted by the Luxemburger Wort newspaper: “It is important to communicate that the company Gravity Sport Management is not in liquidation.”
The report added that Lopez and Lux are “challenging the interpretation of commercial law” by their fellow shareholders.
On track, the Genii-owned Lotus team has a much more competitive car for 2015 compared to last season, but Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado are yet to score a point.
“Our season starts here,” Venezuelan Maldonado is quoted as saying in Shanghai by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
“We still have time to recover and have a great year,” he added. (GMM)