Hungarian Grand Prix: Late tyre deal keeps Lotus on the road
The troubled Lotus team responded to their latest setbacks with a spirited effort in Friday`s second free practice for this weekend`s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Budapest: The troubled Lotus team responded to their latest setbacks with a spirited effort in Friday`s second free practice for this weekend`s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Facing the possibility of having no tyres until an hour before the opening session in the morning, the team were saved from an ignominious absence from the track when a late payment was made to Pirelli.
The cash landed in the Italian tyre company`s bank account in time for Lotus to collect their tyres shortly before practice began, but it took more than an hour for them to warm them to the required temperature to use on track.
By the afternoon, they were back to normal business and after their earlier troubles, that had seen only Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado on track for a few laps, they were clocking enough laps for Maldonado winding up 13th fastest and Frenchman Romain Grosjean 15th.
The Lotus duo clocked 70 laps between them to give them a chance of making up lost time in preparations for Sunday`s race at the Hungaroring.
Lotus deputy team boss Federico Gastaldi said the problem was caused by money transfer problems with banks and was resolved with only 50 minutes to go before opening practice.
The tyres issue was the latest in a series of troubles for Lotus who faced a High Court winding-up order earlier this month. Since then, the team has been linked with former owners Renault.
Grosjean said on Thursday that he hoped the stories he had heard were true and that he would be tempted to stay with the team if Renault took control and put four-time world champion Alain Prost in charge.
"For me, that would be pretty cool and definitely something tempting," he said. "I have heard a lot about it, but it has to be great project and it would be good to have a French team again.
"If we can put a French driver there, too, it would be even more beautiful -- the only thing remaining would be to hear La Marseillaise on the podium..."