F1 »

Fernandes to focus on F1

Tony Fernandes has vowed to focus on returning Lotus to F1 respectability after failed football bid.

Lotus team boss Tony Fernandes has said that he will be concentrating his energies on overseeing the famous marque's return to the top flight, rather than chasing involvement in other sports.

Fernandes' comments come in the wake of his failed bid to take over the reins at ailing Premiership club West Ham United, and amid rumours linking him to other cash-strapped operations such as Portsmouth and Lotus neighbour Norwich City.

"Everything happens for the best, and maybe 'the best' was not for West Ham but to focus on motor racing for the moment," he admitted to Reuters while waiting for Lotus' new T127 to hit the track in testing for the first time, "There is always a danger [of spreading your resources too thinly] - you have to pick the right time to do the right things."

Despite adopting his new stance, however, Fernandes - whose Air Asia concern will continue to back F1 rival Williams this year - believes that there are still 'huge opportunities' to be involved in other sports.

"It is going through a little state of flux, and the easy money is gone, so sensible businessmen will come in and give their money to the right places and monetise those assets," he reasoned, "People aren't getting tired of watching sport, it is just the financial way it's been run that has caused the problems. There is no lack of appetite for going to watch sport - in fact, I think it is probably the best time."

The Malaysian businessman and founder of the AirAsia airline was involved in negotiations to buy West Ham before the London club was sold to former Birmingham City owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

For now, however, Fernandes will be focused on ensuring that Lotus F1 makes it to the grid in Bahrain for next month's opening grand prix, and thereafter on establishing itself respectably among the midfield runners.

"People have said to me that ours was the biggest launch of any car this season," he claimed, "That shows the power we have and I am sure we will attract the right sort of people to come in and support us.

"Today, sponsors will see a real car, and they will see the enormous expenditure that we put out there. It is not just about putting stickers on the cars, there are many other ways of getting revenue. We don't want to say too much at the moment, but we have other sponsors in the pipeline."

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will drive the T127 in Lotus comeback to F1, and are scheduled to join its rivals on track at this week's third group session at Jerez in Spain.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Fernandes (MAS), Lotus Cosworth T127 F1 Launch, Royal Horticultural Hall, London, GBR
23.10.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
23.10.2016 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, 2nd position  Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 3rd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
23.10.2016 - Race, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
23.10.2016 - Race, 3rd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
23.10.2016 - Race, 3rd position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
23.10.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
23.10.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
23.10.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
23.10.2016 - Race, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
23.10.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
23.10.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
23.10.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
23.10.2016 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Venus Williams (USA)
23.10.2016 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Venus Williams (USA)
23.10.2016 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Lindsey Vonn (USA) Skier, Gordon Ramsay (GBR), Celebrity Chef and Venus Williams (USA)
23.10.2016 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Lindsey Vonn (USA) Skier, Gordon Ramsay (GBR), Celebrity Chef and Venus Williams (USA)
23.10.2016 - Race, Celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Lindsey Vonn (USA) Skier and Venus Williams (USA)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.