sport

Boullier leaves Lotus role

Eric Boullier has left Lotus, paving the way for a potential transfer to McLaren as a successor to the seemingly-ousted Martin Whitmarsh.

Lotus co-chairman, Gerard Lopez, will replace Boullier in the role of Team Principal.

However, it is the bombshell departure of Boullier which could massive ramifications along the pitlane with the Frenchman already tipped to replace Whitmarsh following the return to power of Ron Dennis at McLaren.

McLaren are set to unveil their new 2014 charger, the MP4-29, on Friday afternoon.

Whilst impressing on the track throughout 2013 as they claimed fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, Lotus suffered a series of well-documented financial difficulties off it, with Kimi Raikkonen revealing he had not been paid prior to his high-profile departure to Ferrari.

Alarm bells were also rung loudly when the team announced last month that they will miss the upcoming Jerez Test.

However, the team have softened the blow of Boullier's departure with the assurance that their new charger, the E22, will be unveiled 'at the beginning of the first Bahrain pre-season test in February' and that 'the team will also confirm its organisational structure for 2014 ahead of this test'.

'The team management, car and partner portfolio will illustrate the team's will and desire to continue its quest to become one of the strongest teams in Formula 1 in every sense,' a statement read.

"Lotus F1 Team has never stood still and we head into what promises to be an exciting 2014 season with an innovative new car, new partners and a new management structure at Enstone," added a defiant Lopez.

However, all eyes are now on McLaren as Dennis, back in charge after a management coup saw him reinstalled as the team's Chief Executive, prepares to appoint a new management structure at Woking following the team's dismal 2013 season.