Lotus have appeared in High Court in London today over an unpaid bill to the Taxman according to The Telegraph.
The team’s case has been heard in front of Mr Justice Birss in court 11. The team are currently at the moment in talks with Renault over a potential takeover. However, Lotus could be forced into administration due to an unpaid bill and other financial issues that have been present in the team for a long time now.
Renault are believed to have offered £60 million for a 65% stake in Lotus. Their financial difficulties have been apparent throughout the season shown through their delayed payments to Pirelli for tyres and borrowing tyre blankets from other teams.
In recent weeks, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has helped pay their wage bill when it surfaced that the staff who have loyally served the team by doing their jobs haven’t been paid.
But whatever happens with the Lotus court case and the impending takeover from Renault, it will have a direct consequence on what engines various teams such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso will use in 2016. Ferrari are willing to provide Red Bull and Toro Rosso with an engine for 2016 whereas Mercedes also today have formally announced that they have rejected a bid to supply Red Bull with engines following a board meeting.
But overall, all the Lotus team can do is work with the courts and their legal team in order to resolve their legal and financial issues away from the public light while also dealing with negotiations and talks with Renault at the same time. They just have to trust in the legal procedures surrounding this and make the best decision possible for the team and its future in the sport.
I really don’t want to see Lotus in the same position as Caterham and Marussia (now Manor) and we lose potentially another team in the sport whose history and pedigree in the sport is not one to dismiss and one the sport would be far richer without. Let’s hope the situation gets resolved ASAP using the correct and proper legal channels.