Lotus have announced that Saxo Bank will be joining the team as an Official Business Partner.
It is no secret that Lotus have been struggling with their finances as late, with Kimi Raikkonen leaving the team last year without being paid. Gerard Lopez, Chairman of the Lotus F1 Team, recently revealed that despite the team being in £114 million of debt, 2014 looked more positive, in particular with the addition of Pastor Maldonado’s PDVSA sponsorship money. Talks with investment group Quantum have been the subject of a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, with Lopez suggesting the deal was ‘dead’ last week but latest speculation suggests conversations could still be happening.
The new partnership with Saxo Bank – an online Danish investment bank – will see the Lotus F1 Team brand being used through Saxo Bank’s promotions. It is a mutually beneficial agreement, with Saxo Bank also gaining access to Lotus’ partners including Microsoft, Clear and Rexona.
Saxo Bank’s co-CEOs and co-founders Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen released a joint statement on the announcement. “Saxo Bank is excited to have the opportunity to diversify its sporting partnerships, which now forge close ties to two of the world’s most popular sports,” they said. Saxo Bank has been co-sponsor of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team since 2008. The team have enjoyed success in the highest profile competitions such as the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia. “The philosophy and ambitions of Saxo Bank resonate closely with those of Lotus F1 Team, a team which has emerged as a genuine challenger in a sport which is dominated by bigger and more established players.”
“We look forward to being a key partner of Lotus F1 Team as they embark on the new season,” they continued. “We will be supporting them trackside over the coming year.
Team Principal Eric Boullier also shared his views on the deal. “We are delighted to begin a relationship with Saxo Bank, a fast-growing online trading and investment specialist who have demonstrated strong support in sport through sponsorships in the world of cycling at the highest level with Team Saxo-Tinkoff,” he said. “Saxo Bank are taking an exciting and proactive approach to this new partnership with Lotus F1 Team and we are looking forward to enjoying a long and fruitful relationship.”
Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean will race for Lotus in 2014. The team will miss the first test, due to start next week in Jerez, however.