After this weekend’s rumours about a possible sale of the Lotus F1 team, Genii Capital has quashed our concerns in the best way possible – by re-signing Kimi Raikkonen for a second season.
The 33-year-old former World Champion, who returned to the sport after two years driving in the World Rally Championship, could have left the team at the end of 2012 if the performance of either party was below the level of certain pre-agreed criteria. But with Raikkonen sitting third in the championship, after standing on the podium six times, this was never a real concern.
Clearly the team has been preparing the announcement for some time, because they released an 80-second promotional video this morning to confirm their continued partnership with the Iceman.
Genii took the opportunity of confirming its commitment to Formula One, and that its focus was firmly on 2013 and beyond. However the team still needs considerably more budget if it stands the chance of giving Raikkonen the motivation he needs to stay on beyond 2013.
The rumours from this weekend are believed to have stemmed from discussions with potential partners about securing a minority stake in the team. These discussions recently failed to reach agreement, so perhaps the fallout from their breakup led to a few careless words being spoken in the melting pot of the F1 paddock.