The new Lotus F1 team is still hunting for sponsorship for its debut season in F1 in an effort to increase its chances of being successful in 2010.
According to a report by Reuters
, Lotus is operating on a start-up capital of less than $50 million – way below the budget of some of the established teams on the grid.
Despite insisting it had the funds needed to compete when its entry into the sport was revealed, Lotus is now seeking to bring in extra money to ensure it can survive in F1.
Various corporate bodies are expected to be approached to help support the venture, including those with links to the Malaysian government, which has an involvement in the project but is believed to hold no equity in the team.
"What is wrong with asking for sponsors from GLCs like Petronas?" team director Kamarudin Meranun was quoted by the Bernama
news agency. "If Petronas [a long-term backer of BMW-Sauber] can sponsor a foreign F1 team, why should the national petroleum company not sponsor a local team?"
Meranun added that the team's costs were likely to be reduced by the fact that a number of foreign-based Malaysian engineers had expressed interest in working for the team and were prepared to work for lower pay. Over 6,500 applications are reported to have been received for 225 posts.