Renault Sport F1 boss Jean-Michel Jalinier says that the manufacturer’s 2014 programme could be compromised by teams being late with payments.
He admitted that the situation could become critical within the next few weeks – and confirmed that the ultimate sanction could be to cease supply.
Although he declined to name the teams involved – he confirmed it was more than one – it’s no secret that Lotus has been late with payments in the past, which is why its 2014 deal was confirmed so late.
“The main point was to deliver,” he said when asked by this writer about the PR challenge Renault has faced this year. “And show that we we are progressing, we’re not going to be able to make it at the first race, and win the very first race. We need to show that the action plan is delivering and the action plan race-after-race was bringing an efficient package. This is the way we were able to manage the PR.
“In order to develop the action plan we need the resources, and our resources are coming from two sources. One is Renault, with financial resources or human resources, and the other part of it is coming from the teams, because we are selling the engines to the teams. On this part I must say we are not at an acceptable situation, because some of the teams are just late in payment, and at the time that you spend resources in order to catch up you cannot afford to have those non-payments.”
He confirmed that the issue is a serious one.
“It is a serious concern. We can live with it up to a certain point. We are developing, we are putting money into the business, we need to get our resources.”
As to when the critical point might be, he said: “It’s just weeks away… Then we’ll have to address the situation with the team, and take decisions, because that’s something we cannot carry forward.”
Asked if the response could be to withhold supply : “That’s an option. You first need to work with your team and then get back to some financial situation. But in the end that’s an option.”