The seeds have been sown for Lotus Renault GP to officially take control of the entire Lotus branding in F1, with Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus outfit set to be relinquish its name to the Enstone-based outfit. In turn, ‘Team Lotus’ will be known as ‘Team Caterham AirAsia’ (or some such derivative).
The latest chapter in the ongoing ‘Lotus vs Lotus’ saga is good news, not least because it indicates that the messy affair will soon be put behind everyone.
These new rumours come in the wake of news that Fernandes has acquired a stake in the Malaysian government-owned airline MAS, a clear concession from the government to give Fernandes something of significant value in order for him to relinquish the ‘Lotus’ moniker and without the government losing too much face.
Given how much success Fernandes has enjoyed developing AirAsia and the other companies under his burgeoning Tune Group umbrella, clearly the government feels that Fernandes will be able to do a better running the national airline than it can.
It was an important transaction, not least because it was part of a way to bury the hatchet with the Group Lotus establishment, which desperately needs control of all Lotus branding as part of its fanciful plan of becoming the Porsche of Southeast Asia.
The matter – particularly the steps to change the teams’ respective chassis names – will still need to clear Formula 1’s official channels, with both Fernandes and Group Lotus chairman Dany Bahar giving every indication that they intend to make the changeover as smooth as possible.
[Images via LAT]