Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar says he doesn't have a problem with Tony Fernandes' F1 team competing as Team Lotus and says the carmaker doesn't want to be known by the name.
The issue over who holds the rights to the Team Lotus name has been a bone of contention between the two parties from the moment Fernandes' announced that his 1Malaysia Racing outfit would use the name next year having run as Lotus Racing for its debut campaign.
The argument came to a head when Group Lotus announced it's tie-up with Renault
for 2011, which means Lotus Renault
GP and Team Lotus are both set to feature on the grid for the new season.
However, Bahar said he would have no issue with two teams carrying the Lotus name and that the argument with Fernandes for something for Proton – owners of Group Lotus – to resolve.
“We have never claimed to be Team Lotus,” he told the Daily Telegraph
. “We never want to be Team Lotus. That was a successful era of the company but it is an era which we should leave it in the past.
“We have no confusion on our side at all. We have built Lotus cars for many years. We have an ambitious racing programme and we have decided to team up with one of the top five teams.”
The announcement of Lotus Racing GP was met with a bullish response by Fernandes, who hit out at the news that the team planned to use a black and gold colour scheme similar to his own.
However, Lotus Renault
GP chairman Gerard Lopez said it was Team Lotus who had stolen the idea for a livery.
“We always had the idea and then it leaked out through the press,” he said. “Three days later they were announcing they [Team Lotus] were doing black and gold.
“At the end of the day, I don't think there will be any confusion as to which cars will be which in terms of position on the track.”
Team Lotus could yet elect to keep a livery similar to that seen on the grid in 2010 after technical chief Mike Gascoyne conducted a poll of fans on his Twitter
account – with the majority voting for the green and yellow used this year.