Romain Grosjean has confirmed that he has at last been paid by his Lotus team, following the team’s financial struggles in 2013.
The Frenchman’s Lotus team was gripped by a serious financial struggle in the latter half of 2013, with Kimi Raikkonen – Grosjean’s former team-mate – revealing ahead of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he had not been paid by the Enstone-based outfit, a matter the Finn threatened to boycott the final two races of the year over.
Ultimately an aggravated back injury caused Raikkonen, now at Ferrari, to miss the last two races of the season anyway, as the Finn underwent emergency surgery to properly prepare himself for his return to the Scuderia in 2014.
Grosjean, who it later surfaced was also owed money by the team, refused to be drawn into the debate at the time, and in fact delivered some of his finest results in Formula One to date in the closing stages of the 2013, with a notable second place finish in the United States Grand Prix.
The Frenchman has since confirmed that following a managerial shuffle at Lotus over the winter break, he is once again being paid.
“Since the new management has been in place, everything has been sorted and is good,” he said. “But what happened was certainly not the way I wanted things to go.
“I never opened my mouth in front of the media because it was my own business, my personal thing.
“Kimi kind of launched the whole thing, that drivers hadn’t been paid and so on. It wasn’t easy for the guys [within the team], but things have now been made right.
When pushed on the importance of money as a motivational tool, the Frenchman dismissed the idea, stating: “No, because I don’t do this for money, I do it for me – although at some stages I was a bit worried for my rent!”
The 28-year-old’s Lotus team has struggled in the early part of 2014, with both Grosjean and new team-mate Pastor Maldonado still yet to score a point this season, after a winter of uncertainty off-track led to a delay in the launch of the E22, which has left the team playing catch-up on-track ever since.
However, as Grosjean explains, with the team’s financial security now secured, Lotus can set about decreasing the gap to its closest rivals.
“At least now we don’t have the problems we faced in the past, which is good for us,” he said. “After two successful years, going into a difficult season it can be very different. But everyone is trying as hard as they can to get the car as good as it can be, to move forward and not blame something they shouldn’t.
“We’re together, we’re united, because at the end of the day we’re all in the same boat.”
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team