Gerard Lopez has lashed back at reports suggesting Lotus team owner Genii is in dire financial health. The Luxembourg newspaper Tageblatt reported recently that Genii, headed by Lopez and his business partner Eric Lux, is recording ever-growing losses and debts.
Britain's Independent newspaper said Lopez, although based in Luxembourg, flew in his private jet to Genii's London headquarters to "put the record straight". "It's absurd to say that Genii has financial problems," he insisted. "Yes, Lotus has lost money, like every other F1 team in the world."
Lopez said the Enstone based team cost Genii "about EUR 50 million" last year and debt is currently about 100 million, but "the rest of Genii is profitable". "We support Lotus with debt, not sponsorship like the other big teams," he explained. "People are trying to compare apples with pears when it should be apples and apples."
The newspaper also said Lotus' accounts for 2013 will show improved figures. "What's amusing to us," Lopez continued, "is that Lotus - the David against the Goliaths - is always in the public eye more than the big teams like Red Bull and Ferrari. But F1 is a bitchy world and smear campaigns between rival teams are commonplace." (GMM)