There is little good news to report about the Lotus F1 team at present. The UK financial website thisismoney.co.uk reports that the Enstone based team has recorded a $32 million pre-tax loss for last year. It is however an improvement on the $63 million loss of 2010.
But the news of the latest loss followed the dismissal by the team’s former sponsor Group Lotus of its controversial chief executive Dany Bahar.
Business journalist Christian Sylt said Group Lotus’ Malaysian owner DRB-Hicom is contemplating “whether to close or sell the loss-making marque”.
On the brighter side, the Lotus team’s black and gold E20 car is regarded in the F1 paddock this year as perhaps the very best in the field. Commentating on British television Sky this weekend in Canada, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve called the car “amazing” and blamed its drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for failing to perform.
“Put a Hamilton-Alonso-Vettel in there and they might have won every race,” said the French Canadian.
Grosjean and 2007 world champion Raikkonen qualified seventh and twelfth in Canada. Asked why McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and even Williams have been winning so far in 2012 while Lotus has not, Raikkonen said on Saturday: “My guess is that we still have to get stronger in qualifying.
“Of course, the aim always is to win, but sometimes it is better to fight for a good position and bag good points. If the win comes it comes,” he told F1’s official website.