The Lotus Formula 1 team’s talks with potential investors Quantum Motorsports are still ongoing, despite reports this week that the deal was totally dead.
Quantum, which is led by Mansoor Ijaz, had hoped to conclude a buy into the Enstone outfit late last year but the money never arrived in Lotus’ accounts. The failure to complete that deal – caused by banking complications and the difficulties in bringing together the numerous backers – led Ijaz to conclude that the original investment structure was unworkable.
Ijaz has now totally revamped the financial make-up and changed the portfolio of investors in the hope of moving the situation forward. His efforts have convinced Lotus to keep the door open on Quantum, even though the original configuration of the plan will now not happen.
Lotus shareholder Andrew Ruhan, who owns two per cent of the team and is taking a more active role, told AUTOSPORT: “At this moment of time, the original structure of the deal cannot be completed. However, we maintain discussions with Mansoor and still believe it is possible that a deal on a similar basis can be concluded.”
AUTOSPORT has learned that Ijaz had set a deadline of January 15 to tell Lotus whether it was worth talks continuing, or if the deal should be called off completely. Both parties agreed to carry on following meetings this week.
Ijaz said: “The original configuration of the Quantum deal is indeed no longer being pursued by us. That was my decision internally, and I conveyed that to Lotus and Genii before the Christmas break. During the break, we brought the appropriate professional assistance on board, and we conveyed our results on Wednesday to the team, and it was agreed that we proceed to conclusion.”
Ruhan has made it clear that Lotus’ future is not dependent on the Quantum deal happening, however, and that the financial state of the team is already strong enough to ensure it competes in 2014.
“This team is very stable – and we have taken action to make sure the future is secure,” he said.”Should talks be successful with Quantum then it will be a bonus, but we are not dependent on it happening.”
Lotus’ finances will be boosted this year by backing from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA following the signing of Pastor Maldonado as Romain Grosjean’s teammate.