Group Lotus not interested in F1 team

Tony Fernandes (MAL) Lotus F1 Team Principal. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday 24 September 2010.

Tony Fernandes

Sep.25 (GMM) Tony Fernandes on Friday admitted he would like Group Lotus, the Proton-owned maker of British sports cars, to be involved with his formula one team.

But in reality, Lotus Racing – Fernandes’ entirely separate Malaysian-owned outfit – and Norfolk based Group Lotus, seem to be moving even further apart.

Group Lotus is reportedly retracting the license for the Lotus Racing moniker, meaning Fernandes has had to buy the separate and historic Team Lotus name in order to continue to be called Lotus in formula one.

At the same time, the Malaysian airline millionaire admitted he was surprised when he learned that Group Lotus is getting involved in GP2 next year with the top team ART.

Asked pointedly in Singapore if there is a link between Lotus Racing and Group Lotus’ new motor racing plans, he answered: “No.”

Fernandes admitted that, when originally founded by Colin Chapman in the 50s, Group Lotus and Team Lotus were entirely cooperative.

“Of course they cooperated and of course we would like to cooperate but if Group Lotus doesn’t want to then there’s not much we can do about it,” he said.

“The door is always open,” continued Fernandes. “It makes sense if they did. If I was sitting there and there was a formula one team going around the world with 20 races, promoting a brand, if I was the CEO, I would definitely want to get involved, especially if I’m not putting any money in it,” he added.