It has emerged today that the Lotus F1 team is being faced with a winding-up petition in the High Court, having failed to pay a number of its creditors.
Winding up orders are very serious legal recourse, and usually only one taken when a significant amount of money is owed. In the most severe cases, this is the final move that forces an insolvent company into compulsory liquidation.
Speaking to Autosport, Lotus CEO Matthew Carter commented on the situation and its potential impact on the team’s future: “A number of suppliers are feeling a little negative because of what happened to Caterham and Marussia, and they felt they had to go down this process.”
“We’ve had dealings and agreements with the companies that are taking part in the process, and it’s being dealt with in a normal way. It’s perfectly under control. It is just part of the process.”
“There are a couple of suppliers using it to try and claim monies that aren’t owed, and that’s obviously being dealt with as well.”
It is believed that Xtrac, the manufacturer of transmission and gearbox technologies for a number of F1 teams, is one of the creditors taking Lotus to court. Their spokesperson also spoke with Autosport: “Throughout the past 15 months, Xtrac has manufactured a significant quantity of parts in good faith to ensure the cars can keep running.”
“We’ve worked with the Enstone organisation under its many different guises for many years, so I really hope we can find a resolution. We hope to resume this once the now significant debt has been reduced and a positive outcome agreed. We really do hope we can sort this out and there will be a resolution because they are lovely people.”
The case has been adjourned, with the hearing now expected in the next two weeks.