Fernandes is presently seeking a ruling in London's High Court over the rights to the 'Team Lotus' name and is pursuing legal action against Proton and Group Lotus for having terminated his five-year licensing deal four years early. Both Lopez and Bahar are confident it is a battle Fernandes will not win, with the latter predicting an out-of-court peace deal.
The Turkish-born businessman went on to outline his vision for the future of Lotus in F1, with the reputed $20 million-a-year Renault agreement – initially for two seasons, with an option to extend into a third – making sense given Genii Capital's pre-existing relationship with Proton in joint road car initiatives.
“We would not have the courage to build a new team from scratch,” Bahar reasoned, “so we took the more conservative approach. We want to fight at the top end of the grid. We understand that for the next two years we need to learn about F1, the car will be a Renault and so on, but then when we have a new Concorde Agreement, hopefully (in 2013) we can possibly change the name. We'll see where we are and learn over two years.”
With five new road-going sportscars in the pipeline, too – as Lotus bids to reinvent itself as a kind of British Porsche and turn around a long loss-making trend, Allen explains – Bahar is launching an 'ambitious and super-aggressive plan' in the coming years, with F1's ever-expanding Asian market a key target.