The fight between Lotus Racing and Group Lotus over the use of the Team Lotus name has taken another twist after reports in the French press suggested the F1 team has lost the support of Clive Chapman – son of Lotus founder Colin.
Tony Fernandes' team is currently locked in a battle with Group Lotus owner Proton over the rights to use the Team Lotus name for the 2011 season, with the team having announced plans to use the famous title for its second year in the sport during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.
While the team insists it had secured the rights from David Hunt, Proton believes that Hunt didn't have the rights to the name in the first place and has attempted to put a stop to the move, having also withdrawn the official licence it handed to Fernandes for the 2010 season.
According to a report in Auto Plus
by respected reporter Jean-Louis Moncet, Chapman has now withdrawn his support for the F1 team, with the information being provided by a 'very good source' at Lotus Cars – flying in the face of Fernandes' insistence that Chapman is behind the F1 entry.
The report also suggests that Chapman has written a letter to Bernie Ecclestone to confirm his stance on the matter.
Lotus Racing insists it will make no further comment on the matter until the issue has been resolved.