Fernandes wants to resolve Lotus dispute
15 November, 2010
Nov.15 (GMM) Tony Fernandes on Monday admitted he is not ruling out a name change for his formula one team in 2011.
The Malaysian is locked in a bitter naming dispute with Group Lotus and its carmaker owner Proton.
He has bought the ‘Team Lotus’ name from David Hunt, but Group Lotus has retracted the official ‘Lotus Racing’ naming license because it reportedly wants to enter F1 next year with a separate project.
Fernandes admitted in Abu Dhabi that he wants to keep using the Lotus name but sounded reluctant to let the dispute spill into court.
“So we are going into final stretch of name change,” he wrote on his @tonyfernandes Twitter account on Monday. “Do we keep or do we start brand new identity(?). Please let me know.”
Fernandes also ‘re-tweeted’ a reply from a follower who said “I hate Dany Bahar”, a reference to Group Lotus’ chief executive.
French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet wrote in his Auto Plus column at the weekend that Fernandes is open to dropping the Lotus name if he is paid out by Group Lotus or the Malaysian government.
The team’s technical boss Mike Gascoyne said in Brazil a week ago: “For me, the job I do doesn’t alter if the name changes.”