Bahar says Lotus dispute to be solved soon

Dany Bahar

Dany Bahar

Jan.17 (GMM) Dany Bahar is still sure the Lotus branding debacle in formula one will not see the inside of the London High Court.

After his outfit’s official Lotus Racing license was revoked, Tony Fernandes bought the ‘Team Lotus’ name just as Group Lotus was launching plans to enter F1 in 2011.

The parties failed to agree a solution, meaning that at present there will be two Renault-powered Lotus teams on the grid this year pending the outcome of a court ruling.

The situation revved up over the weekend when the black and gold livery for next year’s Lotus Renault GP was launched, just as Team Lotus revealed a video showing the re-branding of its Hingham factory with the famous CACB logo.

“I don’t think it will be a matter solved by English courts,” Group Lotus chief executive Bahar told the BBC. “I think it will be solved before that.”

“But if we have to go the legal way, we will — and our shareholders will support that,” he added, referring to the Malaysian carmaker Proton.

The situation was triggered by Bahar arriving at Lotus with his own plans for F1 long after the Lotus Racing naming license had been issued for Fernandes.

“When I arrived … we had our own ideas and plans and that’s nobody’s fault, not the shareholders’ and not Mr Fernandes’ fault,” he said.

“I think with any business relationship, you start on good terms and if it turns out to be beneficial for both parties, you continue.

“If not, you just stop — it’s like in a marriage. And this one turned out to be an unsuccessful relationship,” explained Bahar.

The famous marque’s motor sport boss Claudio Berro hinted that it will not be Group Lotus that is backing down.

“We build cars and we are shareholders of Renault F1, so we have the right to put our name on the team. Fernandes does not, because we have revoked his license,” Italiaracing quoted Berro as saying.

  • Magnus Rubensson

    I think Tony Fernandes would do well to drop the Lotus name altogether and call the team either “Team Fernandes” or “Team Malaysia”.

    Even “Team Tony”.

    The Fernandes/Lotus Racing team did a good job in 2010. They don’t need a bought brand name any more. Let Renault have the Lotus brand if they covet it so much.

    This is the best possible opportunity for the Tony Fernandes team to build a new brand of their own instead. As in “before the season gets underway”. Build it for yourselves – like Colin Chapman did once.

    The first aim for Team Fernandes is of course to beat the black cars.