Motor Racing: Financial problems force Lotus' closure

Lotus have pulled out of this year's Formula One world championship, and despite the endeavours of David Hunt, the new owner, it seems the most evocative name in British motor racing will be consigned to history.

Hunt, the brother of the late James Hunt, yesterday told the workforce of 60 at the team's Norfolk base that they were being made redundant. Unable to raise the necessary funds to prepare cars for the new season, which starts in March, he had to bow to the inevitable. He insisted, however, that he would continue to strive to merge with another team or revive a genuine effort at Lotus next year.

In a statement, Team Lotus said the decision to lay off their employees was "based on the fact that funding contractually due had not arrived, and in the absence of that money the company was no longer able to offer staff a realistic prospect of ongoing employment."

Hunt said there had been no option to making the workforce redundant, and admitted the decision undermined Lotus's chances of finding an investor. "Our primary responsibility is to the staff, and we will do everything we can to help them find gainful employment, either with us or elsewhere."

Hunt maintained that Lotus was seriously evaluating approaches from other teams to create a joint effort this year, which would ensure the team's name was represented.

"We are open to all possibilities that can realistically put Team Lotus back where it belongs," he said. "What I want to avoid is allowing the team to be put in a situation where it is going to struggle around at the back of the grid, and have its name dragged further through the mud. The other possibility is to take steps to refinance, reorganise and rebuild during 1995, with a view to returning to the grid in good order in 1996.

"There are still real possibilities for the future. I am confident that there is a path through all this to long-term security. Other than Ferrari, the Team Lotus name is arguably the strongest in grand prix racing."

Lotus, brought into Formula One in 1958 by the founder of the company, Colin Chapman, won 79 grands prix and seven constructors' championships in their golden period through the 1960s and 1970s. Jim Clark (twice), Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fitt ipaldi and Mario Andretti won the drivers' title with the team. more recent drivers included Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.

Since Chapman's death in 1982, the team's fortunes have waned and Senna's victory in Detroit - almost eight years ago - was their last. Dwindling funds and last year's uncompetitive car proved too great a burden for Peter Collins and his aides to carry. Hunt took over from the administrator but he, too, found the odds overwhelmingly against him.

End of an era, page 38

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Recruitment Genius: Business / Operations Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive - Major Sporting Venue

£29500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Electronic Engineer - Smart Home / IoT Devices

£32500 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Electronic Engineer is requi...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible