Lotus head for Monza hoping for good news

Tue Sep 1, 2015 4:25pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The Lotus trucks were heading to Monza on Tuesday as the financially-troubled Formula One team moved to calm fears they might not make it to this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Despite the positive news, confirmed by a spokesman, the British-based team still face an uncertain future with their longer-term hopes seemingly pinned on former owners Renault riding to the rescue.

Speculation about the team's survival has grown since last month's Belgian Grand Prix, where bailiffs moved to impound the cars after Frenchman Romain Grosjean had finished a strong third.

That intervention was a result of legal action taken by former reserve driver Charles Pic for an alleged breach of contract.

Lotus also had a problem paying for their tires before Friday practice in Hungary, after seeing off a winding-up petition in Britain, and other bills have reportedly gone unpaid.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in the Times newspaper on Tuesday as saying he had stepped in to ensure staff were paid.

"I thought I should cover the wages of the people there to make sure they were all right and so that Lotus would at least get to Spa and, hopefully, to Italy," said the 84-year-old Briton.

"But they really need to make progress with Renault now to make sure everything is OK," he added.   Continued...

Lotus Formula One driver Romain Grosjean of France (R, front) overtakes Williams Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers during the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium August 23, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Kooren