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Quantum chief says Lotus buy-in deal not dead

Romain Grosjean, Lotus E21
Romain Grosjean, Lotus E21

Lotus F1 Team 2013 Launch PhotoshootMansoor Ijaz, the man behind Lotus' delayed buy-in by the Quantum group, insists the deal is not dead.

Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez said less than a week ago that, after repeated delays in concluding the 35 per cent deal, "we cancelled it".

"The money never arrived," said Lopez. "For 2014, our budget is complete with our new sponsor PDVSA."

Ijaz, however, insists the deal is still on, albeit now in a different form.

But why would Lopez so publicly declare otherwise?

"In every clarification," Ijaz told the grandprix247.com website, "there is also the possibility of additional misunderstandings arising, or journalists taking liberty with the actual words uttered.

"This happened in our case," he said.

Ijaz said he remains on good terms with Lopez and other Genii executives who are "doing everything possible to assist me in concluding the deal".

"No one regrets the delays we have suffered in completing the Lotus investment more than I do," he explained. "And no one is doing more to fix it than I am because that is what the team deserves for standing so clearly and strongly behind me for 7 months."

Ijaz said a new target for completing the deal is between the forthcoming Jerez test, and the Bahrain tests in mid February.

And he issued a stark warning for those he described as "bloggerheads and irresponsible journalists" who have questioned his character and accused him of often being behind shady deals that ultimately collapse.

"When we finish the Lotus financing, we will take each and every one of those bloggers and journalists who slandered me to task for their irresponsible behaviour," he said. "Then we will see how big their mouths are."

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