Lotus F1 locked out of their garage in Brazil


Yesterday, the Lotus team personnel were prevented by local security officers from entering their garage and beginning the ‘unpack’ and setup procedure usual for a Wednesday. Whilst the team refused to reveal the nature of the commercial dispute behind the legal petition being enforced, this is not the first time this year Lotus have found their equipment impounded, presumably due to unpaid bills.

At the 2015 Belgium GP, the Enstone team trucks, cars and equipment were impounded due to a contractual dispute with Charles Pic. Earlier in Hungary, stories circulated that Pirelli had refused to distribute tyres to Lotus until outstanding debts were settled. Pictures of the team personnel resuming work were tweeted later in the day.

Earlier this week, Renault leaked through an Ian Parkes Autosport article, that they intended to take a majority stake in the Enstone team. The suggested timing of the takeover – around or after the season finale – could suggest that Renault are looking for the Lotus creditors to voluntarily write down some of the debt. With the season finished and the deadline for the HMRC winding up petition drawing ever closer, Lotus creditors may be more inclined to agree settlement of accounts at a reduced amount – rather than risk receiving little or nothing at all.

In a ‘business as normal’ move, Lotus have signed up Joylon Palmer for 2016, to replace the outgoing Romain Grosjean. However, Renault may not be obliged to honour this arrangement despite the fact that Palmer brings cash with him.

Also confirmed by the team’s CEO Matthew Carter is that if Renault acquire the Enstone team, the name Lotus will disappear from Formula One.

11 responses to “Lotus F1 locked out of their garage in Brazil

  1. I thought Mr Palmer had been given the all clear by Renault according to him?. Have also read this on F1 today :-

    Sources, however, have told us that despite the situation on Wednesday, Lotus has now paid the unpaid bills and will have full access at Interlagos from Thursday. “We are racing,” the source insisted.

  2. This is something I never understand. Lets say hypothetically that a creditor/company is waiting for money from Lotus. The worst thing that creditor could do is NOT let the cars race. The way these teams “make” money is by earning championship points. If you prevent the car from running you are guaranteeing they cannot earn points which means less/no money. If you let them run, and they earn points, they make money and (eventually after they get said monies from DeutscheBernie) you can then collect. Or at least collect more on your proverbial dollar in collections. Yea there is a risk that Pastor is going to just explode on the grid…..but for each manufacturer position being worth $6-7million thats a good risk to take. Especially since you are already in the hole anyway.

    • “This is something I never understand. ”
      Doing it this way the creditors/suppliers are able to extract money upfront.

    • The problem is how long do you wait and how much debt do you allow a team to run up? Who ever is owed the debt has still got to pay their staff! Remember Bernie only pays this years earnings next year!!! By holding Lotus to ransom the company has been paid at east some of their money. If you look at the sums involved with F1 and the history of teams going into administration I am not surprised companies take drastic action to protect their businesses. Remember who ever is owed the debt has their employees to look after as well.
      That said I do feel sorry for all the ‘Lotus’ employees and their limbo status must be a bit stressful for them. Hopefully Renault will sort all their contracts out soon and buy the team, invest and give the front runners some competition.

      • Man Bernie must have some good wording in the contracts to protect himself from the creditors coming after him (and obviously he does since none have come after him directly).
        I guess these “suppliers” are so focused on getting into F1 that they don’t look at the history of how much suppliers have lost because of these situations (seems to be pretty regular especially lately).
        I guess if I had the where-with-all to get into supplying to F1 teams, I’d make sure to have some guaranteed funding from the big-dog himself eh (I know that would never happen lol).

        • Not only does he not begin paying the following year, he only pays if they show up to race.
          This is also why Manor had to get unanimous approval to change their name. Prize money was owed to Marussia, and technically if Manor showed up they were not eligible for Marussia’s 2014 earnings.
          I would guess it is for these reasons that a creditor cannot have this prize money garnished; they are not yet the team’s until they fulfill their requirements for the following year.

    • Thom00etc….there comes a time in every creditors life when you have enough of debtors taking the pi$$.

      Let them race, let them make money as you advocate, only to see what you are owed vaporise into what? New tub for Crashtor, 20 new front wings, the con men running the outfit lowering their exposure….
      End of day you are still owed…….Screw them over savagely is the only way.

  3. Not germane to this article and I guess TJ13 will have their take in due course, the driver briefing today looked even more underwhelming then it usually is……

  4. The Lotus routine:

    – “Bigmoney coming (Mansoor / Renault)
    – creditors / police / … lock / impound some insignificant thingie like the garage
    – see “Bigmoney…”
    – tweet: “we’re here!”
    – get even more paydrivers money
    – repeat

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.