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Lotus Cars will buy into my F1 team, says Fernandes

Tony Fernandes reckons the relationship with Lotus Cars will increase in time.
Tony Fernandes has said that Lotus Cars will probably buy into his new Malaysian Lotus F1 Racing team in the future.

Fernandes, who will act as team principal at the new Lotus F1 Racing team in 2010, and who said recently that the squad will probably announce its drivers next week [see separate story click here], added that he thinks the relationship will work like it does with Ferrari.

Currently Fernandes' outfit, known in Malaysia as '1Malaysia F1 Team', uses the 'Lotus F1 Racing' name under license by Proton, which acquired the British sportscar firm in the early 1990s.

"We have a licensing agreement with Lotus owner Proton and over time that relationship will grow," Fernandes explained to the official F1 website while speaking at this week's Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco.

"Lotus will probably buy into the team at some stage. More and more technology from our side will flow into Lotus cars and we will promote the Lotus brand. I see it in time being no different from how Ferrari works."

Fernandes meanwhile added that his squad want to 'honour' what Colin Chapman achieved with the original Lotus team.

"I don't think we can claim any of the heritage but we are very clear about making sure we don't destroy any of the prestige," he continued.

"We have an advisory council to make sure that we protect what has been built by Colin Chapman and the people at Lotus. We'll certainly celebrate it and work with it.

"We have lots of ideas. We've talked about doing something like the Goodwood Festival at next year's Malaysian Grand Prix and have lots of Lotus enthusiasts bring their cars down to Malaysia.

"There are lots of ways to celebrate the heritage. It's phenomenal history, a phenomenal brand. We cannot claim it, but we will work with it, we will celebrate it - and we will honour it," he summed-up.

The original Lotus team competed in F1 from 1958 to 1994, winning seven Constructors' Championship and six Drivers' Championships in the 1960s and 1970s. In total the squad competed in almost 500 races.

Related Pictures

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Lotus F1 scale model
Lotus F1 scale model
Lotus logo [Pic credit: Group Lotus plc]

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JDPower - Unregistered

December 12, 2009 5:49 PM

What utter BS. There are rumblings of disquiet about them using the lotus name so they release this in an attempt to gain some level of respectability. Lotus Cars won't buy into the team, in fact I'd go as far as to say the Lotus name won't be used at all after next year if the team is still in F1. It's a win win situation for them - if the team bombs then there's no damage done to the Proton name, after all it's Team Lotus isn't it. If the team does well they can drop the Lotus name, call themselves Proton F1 and take all the glory :rolleyes:

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