Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez has played down reports McLaren refugee Martin Whitmarsh is definitely headed to Enstone.

Mart Whitmarsh on the pit wallWith Eric Boullier having moved to McLaren to be ‘racing director’, it was reported that Briton Whitmarsh was the obvious choice to replace the Frenchman. “There have been contacts with Martin,” Lopez is quoted by Italy’s blogf1.it, “but he is not necessarily the only one. “We have talked to at least three other people.”

The report said the Whitmarsh deal could fall over on the issue of his salary, given recent staff cuts at the financially-troubled team. Meanwhile, after Lopez said recently Lotus has a new sponsor in the form of Russia’s Yotaphone, it emerges that the parent company has in fact bought a stake in the Enstone based team. “This is not a mere sponsorship, we have acquired an equity stake,” the spokesman for Yota Devices is quoted as saying.

Info: GMM, Image: McLaren