The Lotus F1 Team has had its fair share of troubles, but it seems they’re far from over as a completely new issue has cropped up over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend which could lead to the impounding of their cars and equipment.
Former Caterham and Marussia driver Charles Pic is behind a court order that prevents Lotus leaving the Belgian paddock.
The Frenchman claims Lotus failed to follow a contract it had agreed with him last season, entitling him to a certain number of days behind the wheel of the car.
The team have admitted to breaking the contract, claiming the problems they suffered with the car and particularly the Renault engine, meant they were forced to give drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado as much time as possible behind the wheel to become accustomed with it.
Maldonado made sure to lower the value of the impounded cars during Friday practice (© Octane Photographic)
Unhappy with the outcome, Pic took the matter to a Belgian court, which granted an order, impounding Lotus’s equipment within the Belgian paddock until the matter is resolved.
Lotus believe the matter will be resolved quickly and insist the order is invalid as the case is still with the arbitration court.
On Thursday night, three Lotus team members remained in the garage to guard the cars and equipment, fearing they may be seized, thus breaking the FIA’s 11pm curfew.
However the FIA deemed the circumstances “extraneous” and therefore decided the “incident will not be considered as one of the two [curfew] exceptions” allowed in the regulations, according to Autosport.