Feb.11 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Olivier Quesnel, the former Ctiroen and Peugeot rally boss, has admitted he has had contact with Lotus owner Gerard Lopez about becoming the Enstone team’s new sporting boss.
The 64-year-old Frenchman told the L’Equipe sports daily that the first contact in fact dates back “four years” — long before Eric Boullier’s recent McLaren switch.
“I will not pretend that I am not interested,” said Quesnel. “From what I understand, there is a shortlist that I appear to be on.”
He told France’s RMC Sport that the current talks with Lopez are ongoing.
“I know him well,” said Quesnel. “We talked, and we did talk about the F1 team.
“Lotus is a great team. I am currently at (sports car team) Oak Racing so I am continuing my job as usual.
“Gerard knows where I am and he will call me when he has made his decision.”
RMC claims Quesnel is Lopez’s top choice, but the Luxembourger is still to convince the board.
Lopez told France’s Infosport Plus that there are “three candidates” on the list. One of them, it is known, is ousted McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh.
“Nothing is done,” said Lopez. “The only thing I cannot hide is that Olivier Quesnel is on the list.
“We know he has succeeded at the highest level. Each (of the candidates) has their strengths, but all three have few weaknesses,” he added.
“We need to make a decision quickly, because we have things to prepare. It will be at the latest within a week, ten days.”
He denied that former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn is the third candidate.
“We already knew his situation,” said Lopez. “He is no longer interested in F1, even though it would have been interesting to have a serious discussion with Ross Brawn.”