Lotus name dispute solution expected soon

Tony Fernandes (MAL) Lotus F1 Team Principal on the grid. Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 14 March 2010.

Tony Fernandes

Nov.17 (GMM) This Friday has been marked out as a likely turning-point in the Lotus naming dispute.

Finland’s Turun Sanomat reports that November 19 could see a settlement in the dispute, with Tony Fernandes’ team wanting to keep its name but the separate Group Lotus looking to enter F1 with a Renault collaboration next year.

Indeed, it is believed that Proton-owned Group Lotus is scheduling an official announcement about its F1 project for 2011 this week.

At the same time, Fernandes is hinting that a decision has been made about how his team should proceed. “(Shareholders) Nasa, Din and myself know what to do. We are the people’s team,” he wrote on Twitter.

It seems likely that the matter will not become a messy court battle.

“What we don’t want to be involved in is destroying the Lotus name,” Fernandes is quoted by Reuters.

“We feel that we’ve done justice to the Lotus name. We want to keep it. We feel it’s ours. But we are also pragmatic human beings,” he said.

And the team’s technical boss Mike Gascoyne told Turun Sanomat: “I don’t know what the name will be in the future, but that’s not the important thing.

“I’m proud of the team and we’ve proved this year how strong we are. And at least one thing can never be taken away from us — we brought Lotus back to F1,” he said.