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Lotus should now be able to conclude business to sign Nico Hulkenberg
The long-term future of Lotus is set to be secured after investment group Quantum Motorsports confirmed on Sunday night that a deal to buy into the team has been finalised.
It had been doubted during the week if the deal would be pushed through. However, Mansoor Ijaz, the head of the consortium, confirmed to Autosport that an agreement to buy a major stake in the team had been completed.
There is no question that the deal is definitely happening. I will even go out as far as to say that it has now been completed from our side in terms of what has to be done. We have options - I won't go into the details of those options - but the options do allow us in a fixed amount of time to take control of the team later on. We will do that in a way that is very co-ordinated with our partners at Genii.
The deal means that Lotus will finally be able to pay driver Kimi Raikkonen for his services this season, and the Finn has now lifted his threat to boycott the final two races.
We have apologised to Kimi. We intend to not only make sure that they are made whole, and then some, but we are intending also to compensate our employees and management team for having taken it on the chin from you guys [the media] in recent weeks.
It also means that Lotus is in a strong position to fill Raikkonen’s spot at the team with their preferred option, thought to be Nico Hulkenberg.
I wish the transition had been smoother between Kimi and the next driver, who we believe will be Nico Hulkenberg, but sometimes in life things don't happen so clearly and as nicely as you would like them to. I know Nico is excited about doing this and I think it is a matter of a very short period before that is all finalised.