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GP Week : Issue 229
.com weeK Accessible via the GPWeeK APP CLICK on the appropriate provider (right) MANAGING EDITOR Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Mat Coch CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Formula 1: Mike Doodson Paolo Filisetti (F1 Tech Editor) Sean Kelly Social Media: Ernie Black PhOTOGRAPhy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Daniel Kalisz, Mirko Stange, Dirk Klynsmith PUBlIShED By Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom PUBlIShER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com The financial troubles facing Lotus saw the team reach new lows in suzuka after its freight was late arriving and the team was locked out of its hospitality suite - both the result of unpaid bills. The team, which could be placed in administration by the courts later today, was still setting up its garages on Thursday, at a time all other teams were already preparing their cars for the weekend ahead. DHL had reportedly delayed the freight delivery because it had not been paid, while Suzuka circuit officials refused to unlock the hospitality suite after it was revealed the team had not picked up last year's tab. It forced Bernie Ecclestone to allow team personnel to eat in the paddock club while Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado gave their usual media briefings under an umbrella in the rain. It's understood the problem stems from the protracted negotiations with Renault over a potential buyout of the team. As they continue to be drawn out there is uncertainty within the team over just who should be paying the bills. Those negotiations are reportedly coming to a close, with Lotus' CEO Matthew Carter claiming "there is going to be a press release from Renault next week." However the situation has left many in the paddock baffled, including Ecclestone. The deal between Renault and Lotus had allegedly been held up as the French manufacturer sought 'heritage' payments from Formula One in acknowledgement of the fact it's been in the sport since 1977 - admittedly with a few fits and starts. "It's strange that a company as large as Renault are taking such a long time to make a decision, to be honest with you," Ecclestone told Reuters. "They've been waiting for us to make a contribution to give them a reason to do something, which we've done two weeks ago. So I don't know." Carter meanwhile claims the team's current problems all relate back to the negotiations. "There was an interest shown in the team by Renault and as that decision got closer, we had to make financial decisions and Renault asked us not to sign contracts. That was back in May/June and it has dragged on," he explained. "Things are looking very positive at the moment. We are confident Monday will go in our favour and things are looking very positive going for ward, much more than in the last few weeks." Adjourned on the Friday of the Singapore Grand Prix, the team will today front the court to stave off administrators after UK tax authorities chase tax and national insurance contributions. Should the court not find in Lotus' favour it casts doubt on its participation in Russia, at very least. 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news Lotus woes hit new Lows