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Ijaz adamant Lotus deal will be concluded this week.

NEWS STORY
18/11/2013

As doubts over Quantum Motorsport's purchase of 35% of Lotus continue, Mansoor Ijaz insists the deal will be concluded in the coming week.

Given free rein by Sky Sports F1 to bring the public (and employees) up to date, Ijaz claimed that the deal, first announced in June, is still very much on, blaming the failure to reach an earlier conclusion on the banking system.

"We're still very much going to join them (Lotus)," he told Sky Sports F1, when asked about the current situation. "We have done, as I have said before, from our part, what we need to make sure that the assets in our portfolio were released.

"We live in a world where the banking compliance frameworks and the way in which international transfers work are quite complicated," he continued. "We're not talking about moving small sums of money from one place to the other. Any time you have Middle East investors involved in a transaction where the monies are coming directly from the Middle East not outside already the complications can be quite significant and the compliance process can take some time, but we're very close to the end now, I'm pretty sure that we'll get it done this week."

Advised that the situation at Enstone is critical, Ijaz nodded before Eric Boullier interjected. "It's not critical to be honest. With new investors like Quantum it is another step for us, it wiil allows us to establish the team at another level. Clearly we will have the funds to compete for the next few years and not be thinking about, 'you know, what's going to be next', and build a strategy as a real top team."

"What's amazing is he's been able to do with this team what they've been able to do in terms of performance," said Ijaz. "Even with our delays and all the problems that those delays have caused. This team has really been run like a lean, fighting machine, and that's something I'm very proud of, I think he's the greatest team principal in the paddock right now."

As speculation linking Pastor Maldonado - and his PDVSA millions - with Lotus reaches fever pitch, some claiming the deal is already done, Ijaz was asked if his money would allow the team to recruit Nico Hulkenberg and put him alongside Romain Grosjean, thereby creating one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid.

"We're going to make that part of it happen in terms of making sure he (Boullier) gets enough money," he said. "One of the things I did over the past three weeks while things kept on getting slowed down is we put other opportunities that we had in place to go ahead and fund... so in fact we may bring a lot more money to the table than we initially anticipated just to make sure the back-stop behind the team is strong enough to keep it going for a very long time.

"That's part one... that's just to buy into the team," he continued. "The second part is the sponsorships that we're going to bring. Now, no sponsor is going to come on board from our side until they know the share purchase part of the equation is complete, but when that's complete then those sponsorships will come pretty quickly, and they're major sponsorships, they're not small sponsorships that we're talking about."

When it was suggested that this is brilliant news, and asked if he is confident, Boullier replied: "Yes, I'm confident, I'm confident that it's gonna go through. Obviously Mansoor has been working hard and everything that has been done in the last months or so we have had no reason to doubt about it. It is just a question of timing.

"This is something I'm used to saying to him (Ijaz)," he continued, "the problem with motor racing is timing. We have to race every two weeks and we have to bring a competitive car every two weeks and in the off-season you have to work on your driver pairing. It is just a timing issue, but I am confident that it's gonna go through."

Told that many of those working at Enstone, and their families, will be delighted by the 'news', Ijaz said: "These people are some of the finest people I've ever met anywhere in the world.

“I grew up on a farm down in Virginia not too far from here on the East coast of the United States and the work ethic we had when we were growing up, the work ethic that these people have at Enstone is the same... and I'm telling you that we will not quit this week until we finish it and we will finish it this week. That's what we're going to do."

So there you have it. Whilst we remain extremely dubious about Ijaz and the whole deal - as we always have - let's give him the benefit of the doubt and see what the next seven days brings.

For the sake of those very families he talked of, for the sake of the team and its fans, we hope Ijazx really does deliver. However, deep down we have the feeling that he is just another of those F1 wannabes that the sport so regularly attracts.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BodyLanguage, 25/11/2013 17:29

"I watched the interview live on SkyF1 (I don't think he Mansoor expected to get interviewed on camera) I'm shocked at this mans body language, hand movements deflecting, all wrong it gave me shivers. No confidence or substance behind his talk. It's amazing what some people will do to get into an F1 paddock. I think Lotus F1 will be best sign Pastor Maldonado and not have an embarrassing financial 2014 season. Although I would like to see Hulkenberg in the Lotus on merit. (would also love to see the interview replied and analysed be Dr Paul Eckman). How interesting would that be?"

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2. Posted by seagull, 19/11/2013 16:13

"He really shouldn't promise things if hes not going to deliver, all this lip service to the people at Enstone is wrong. Or is he going to contact the bank managers when their mortgages cant be paid due to late wages?"

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3. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 19/11/2013 0:57

"Agreed jo6pac. I hear that all the time."

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4. Posted by jo6pac, 18/11/2013 22:49

"Well, sure checks in the mail all of that. Please let us know when the check clears and you have the money in hand. Then do the right thing and pay the drivers."

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5. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 18/11/2013 20:46

"Is there an issue of legality, if an expected delivery of funds is not delivered?
This promised funding for the Team could very well break the Team, if it does not develop.
I would hate to see them designing and making toasters, at the end of it all."

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6. Posted by Maria, 18/11/2013 15:37 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 18/11/2013 16:19)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

7. Posted by Maria, 18/11/2013 11:24 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 18/11/2013 12:14)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

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