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Fernandes eyes eventual 'common brand' between Lotus and Caterham

Tony Fernandes hints at the eventual formation of a 'common brand' between new partners Lotus and Caterham - although he admits the future shape of the current Team Lotus remains unclear...
Tony Fernandes has evoked the future prospect of a 'common brand' between Lotus and Caterham following the official confirmation of his acquisition of the niche British sportscar marque yesterday (Wednesday) – but as regards 'the eventual shape and form' of what is presently Team Lotus, he concedes that he 'doesn't know, to be honest'.

Following several days of speculation, Fernandes announced yesterday that Team Lotus and Caterham have joined forces in a dynamic new partnership [see separate story – click here] – with some surmising that should the High Court ruling in his ongoing legal battle with Group Lotus over the rights to use the iconic Lotus name in F1 go against him, he will now have an alternative identity to fall back upon.

In what the Malaysian entrepreneur clearly hopes will be a mutually advantageous and reciprocal relationship, Caterham is expected to benefit from F1 technology in the production and development of its affordable road-going sportscars as well as greater exposure through its new link to the glamorous and high-profile world of grand prix racing.

“[Team Lotus will] make F1 accessible through Caterham,” Fernandes said at the Duxford aviation museum, according to F1 Fanatic. “There will be lots of different types of racing we'll be doing to allow our fans and Caterham fans to have an experience.

“We'll obviously be using the technology that Mike [Gascoyne – Team Lotus chief technical officer] and his team have to put into Caterham cars. We will have some new models. When we started this F1 journey, we always wanted to manufacture cars; we always thought F1 produced a fantastic platform to do that.

“Unfortunately, the gods conspired against us. Obviously, we wanted to work with Group Lotus; that hasn't happened, but it's funny how life has a way of sorting itself out and things end up even better than what you first imagined.

“[Caterham] has a unique place at the heart of motoring world. The parallels between my original life at AirAsia – where we set up a new brand – and what we have with Caterham is uncanny. When I took over AirAsia, they had 200 staff; there are about 200 staff at Caterham. The parallels of building something that will be reaching a much larger market is something we're very excited about.

“My aim would be, at some stage, to have a common brand. I think that both have their aspirations. As to the way, shape and form, some will be dependent on the legal case, some will depend on how it looks and feels and I'll take the view of the fans as well. It's all to play for, but at least we've got something to play with, which is the objective. As to the eventual shape and form of this team, I don't know, to be honest.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Caterham [pic credit: Caterham]
16.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Luiz Razia (BRA), Test Driver, Team Lotus, TL11
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
17.04.2011- Race, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11 leads Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
09.04.2011- Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus, Team Principal
26.03.2011- Saturday Practice, Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus, Team Principal
Tony Fernandes (MAL) Lotus Racing
18.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, Tony Fernandes, Lotus F1 Team, Team Principal - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
Tony Fernandes (MAS), Lotus Cosworth T127 F1 Launch, Royal Horticultural Hall, London, GBR
Friday Practice 1, Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Lotus Racing
Haas F1 livery updated Monaco GP
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
14.05.2017 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the team.
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with the team.

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Barry - Unregistered

April 28, 2011 3:31 PM

Cactus. Seriously Tony, ditch the Lotus thing altogether. It hasn't worked out, you only bought a name not a heritage. Catherham on the other hand is a living organisation with respected products and a real heritage. Rebrand (again) to Team Caterham or Caterham F1, soon as you can.

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