Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes and technical chief Mike Gascoyne have responded to the announcement that Group Lotus is to move into F1 for the 2011 in a deal with Renault.
Fernandes' 1Malaysia Racing outfit joined the grid this season running under the Lotus Racing banner before announcing plans to race as Team Lotus in 2011 having purchased the rights to the name from David Hunt.
Proton, the owners of Group Lotus, then responded by saying that it held the rights to the name and that they weren't Hunt's to sell – something that has since been denied.
Despite the ongoing argument, Fernandes lodged his entry with the FIA as Team Lotus before Group Lotus announced that it has bought into the Renault team and will be on the grid as Lotus Renault GP.
That means there are now two Lotus Renault teams on the grid but Fernandes insisted he was positive about the future of his team.
“[Group Lotus boss] Dany Bahar has done us a favour,” Fernandes wrote on Twitter
. “Never felt better about our future and Team Lotus. Looks like they are trying to hijack our black and gold idea.”
Also writing on his Twitter
page, Gascoyne said the team was prepared to fight for its name.
“Lotus, just like buses, you wait for ages and then two come along at once,” he said. Thanks for all the messages of support from our fans. Rest assured, we are Team Lotus and we are here to stay.
“We at Team Lotus are in F1 to design, build and race F1 cars from our home in Norfolk, and in the future to win as a Team, bring it on.”