F1 » Fernandes rejects Lotus settlement offer

Tony Fernandes rejects an offer to end the Lotus name argument out of court

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February 13, 2011 1:49 PM

rob. wasnt this story out about two weeks ago, with the mention of $10m, and fernandes said that if he took that amount, it would "bankrupt" him?
we may have to live with the lotus moniker on two teams, but only one has the right to legally wear the famous lotus badge. the other is a pastiche.


February 13, 2011 2:00 PM

Maybe I am dense but it's my understanding it was a rebranding effort with little cash being offered during the term of the license. How is Tony now holding a gun to their head in hopes of a bunch of money. He said it would bankrupt him. HOW when they were never being given a large sum of money to begin with. He is just begging. This team doesn't have the money to go racing nor do they pay their bills. And top that with the car is still a hunk of crap. So is Tony saying that they will go bankrupt if they lose a piece of paper?

F Fish - Unregistered

February 13, 2011 2:07 PM

Rob01.I read somewhere that the reason he didn't accept $$$$$ was because it would mean a name change for his team and that would cost him $$$$ in the money's Bernie devided's up at the end of the year.Does any of that makes sense to you??

F Fish - Unregistered

February 13, 2011 2:15 PM

I don't fully understand the $$$$ that Bernie passes out ( to who and how much ) but I would of thought that with Lotus finishing way down the list anyway last year the $10 mill would cover it??Can you shed any light on the rules about that please Rob01??

Alan D - Unregistered

February 13, 2011 3:11 PM

I think there are two issues here, the prize money and the name.

The prize money rule was originally intended to discourage teams coming into F1 for a few races and them selling their franchise to someone else. That's clearly not what's happening here, and if Bernie is threatening not to pay out prize money then he should be ashamed of himself, but the man has no shame anyway.

The other issue is that people only got interested in the Fernandes team once it announced it would be racing under the Lotus name. Take away the name and call it One Malaysia again and no-one will sponsor it.

Alan D - Unregistered

February 13, 2011 3:13 PM

I think if Fernandes had stuck to his guns and said he had a five year deal with Lotus then he might have a better chance in court, but by buying the Team Lotus name he made it clear he was undermining Lotus's right to decide where its brand gets used in racing and asking for trouble.

If Manor announced next week that they'd found someone who happened to have registered "Virgin Sports" as a name 10 years ago, and they'd bought that name to ensure they can carry on using the Virgin name whether Virgin likes it or not, don't you think Virgin would take exactly the same action against them as Lotus is taking against 1MRT?


February 13, 2011 3:30 PM

One of the main costs would be rebranding. If they accept the money from Lotus Group they will have to give up the Lotus name.
Imagine the costs involved in rebranding: everything is branded, from clothes, pens, fan club, hospitality, trucks, overalls, helmets... and then you have the amount of time it would take to change everything. Painting a fleet of tractor-trailers is not a quick job!
There are also principles involved. Tony had a contrct for the use of the Lotus name, that contract was then broken.

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