Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lotus F1 to sell stake to keep Kimi

Gerard Lopez and Kimi
Italy's Autosprint magazine has reported that the owners of Lotus F1 Team, Genii Capital, are offering a part of their team up for sale. Cesare Mannucci, the reporter, has said that the money is being raised to ensure the team can interest Kimi Raikkonen in continuing for 2014. 

This news has come on the heels of other reports that the bosses at Red Bull would not be averse to signing the 2007 World Champion for their 2014 challenge, considering Mark Webber has all but confirmed his departure from the team.“Kimi’s position (beyond 2013) is going to be based on a bunch of things and not on what Red Bull say,” Genii’s Gerard Lopez is quoted by the Sun newspaper.

“I can guarantee you Kimi is not the kind of guy who is going to sign any sort of pre-contract — not with anybody.

“If we keep giving him what he wants then I don’t see there is any reason for him to go anywhere,” said Lopez.

With the price of engines going up next year by almost 80 - 100% for the new V6 powerplants, Lotus, like the other teams that buys its engines from manufacturers, will also need a bigger budget. Further technical director James Allison will reportedly be offered a pay-rise to prevent him from being poached by a bigger team.

Mannucci also claimed that Red Bull may be looking to sell its junior sister team Toro Rosso to Middle Eastern investors. More on that later.

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