Proton say Lotus Racing has no right to use “Team Lotus” name

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Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Group Lotus owners Proton have denied that Tony Fernandes has the right to re-brand his team as “Team Lotus”.

In a statement released today the company said:

Proton will support Group Lotus in taking all necessary steps to protect its rights in the “Lotus” name, including resisting any attempts by Mr. Fernandes or his companies, or any other unauthorised person, to use the “Lotus” name in the 2011 Formula 1 season.

Update: Lotus Racing bringing High Court action over right to use ??Team Lotus?? name

Here is the full statement from Proton:

There is and always has been only one Lotus, the Lotus started by Colin Chapman. From the beginning Lotus made road cars and raced racing cars. Until 1994, Group Lotus, the road car manufacturer and Team Lotus, which operated the Formula 1 team, were in common ownership with common directors. In 1994, Team Lotus failed and Lotus has not raced since. Since 1994, David Hunt has claimed to have acquired assets of Team Lotus, including its name, from the liquidator. He has never raced as Lotus. Mr. Hunt?s attempt to acquire the name Team Lotus was ineffective. Group Lotus is the owner of all rights in the “Lotus” automotive brand including those relating to Formula 1.

Last year, Tony Fernandes and 1 Malaysia Racing Team recognised this by taking a licence from Group Lotus to use the “Lotus” brand for the “Lotus Racing” team in the current Formula 1 season. With Proton?s agreement, Group Lotus has now terminated its licence to 1 Malaysia Racing Team to use the “Lotus Racing” brand in the 2011 and future Formula 1 seasons as a result of the flagrant and persistent breaches of the licence by 1 Malaysia Racing Team, which were damaging to the “Lotus” brand.

Following that termination, neither 1 Malaysia Racing Team, nor any other company associated with Mr. Fernandes such as Tune Group Sdn Bhd or Team Lotus Ventures Limited, has the authority of Group Lotus to use any “Lotus” brand in the 2011 Formula 1 season. This includes the use of the brand “Team Lotus”.

Group Lotus understands that Mr. Fernandes intends to rebrand the current “Lotus Racing” Formula 1 team to “Team Lotus” for the 2011 Formula 1 season. Mr. Fernandes indicates that Tune Group has acquired the rights to the name “Team Lotus” from a business formerly owned by David Hunt called Team Lotus Ventures Limited. Group Lotus believes these rights to have no proper legal foundation, a fact of which Mr. Fernandes was well aware when his company purchased them.

Proton will support Group Lotus in taking all necessary steps to protect its rights in the “Lotus” name, including resisting any attempts by Mr. Fernandes or his companies, or any other unauthorised person, to use the “Lotus” name in the 2011 Formula 1 season.

Dato? Sri Mohd. Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh, Chairman of Proton Holdings Berhad and Group Lotus commented, “We believe the Lotus brand to be one of the most valuable brands in Formula 1 today. We are the owners of this brand, and will take all necessary steps to protect it. Tony Fernandes has no rights to use the Lotus brand in the 2011 Formula 1 season, and we will strongly resist any attempts by him to use our brand without our permission and will withdraw our sponsorship of the Lotus Racing team.”

??To put it simply, Group Lotus is everything Lotus. The fact that 1 Malaysia Racing Team entered into an agreement with Group Lotus to use the brand means that both Mr. Fernandes and 1 Malaysia Racing Team recognises and acknowledges Group Lotus? rights,?? he added.

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    75 comments on “Proton say Lotus Racing has no right to use “Team Lotus” name”

    1. thats not good…

      it was better that we had Lotus in F1.. now we will have Malysia 1… ;(

      1. What gets me is all the goodwill and cooperation that been done between the car company and the racing team, putting together the show earlier this summer and the visits from the Chapman family and the good words from said family, not to mention the token gift of the “historical” cap at the beginning of the year.

        Why this sudden melt down? Is it because he acquired the “Team Lotus” name while they wanted to get it for themselves and make the F1 team part of the Lotus household and Tony had no interest in it?

        Just seems odd all in all with all the good words that come out from the Chapman family and the car manufacturer since the inception of Tonys Lotus team?
        It all seems to now blown up with the acquisition of the team name from Hunt?

        1. I sure looks like Lotus Cars (and its Management of former Ferrari guys) are heading on a confrontation course with Fernandez over the rights and convinced their owners to back them.

          But their claim that Hunt never had the rights has already been denied by the british courts several years back.
          A pretty big mess this is.

      2. Bringing the Lotus name into F1 was only a cheap marketing exercise in the first place. Hope this embarassing gaff signals the end to the use of such a wonderful name.

    2. Group Lotus challenged this decision in the courts in 1998 – after the Proton takeover – and lost. Thus Group Lotus has no real legal claim on Team Lotus, based on the decisions made up to now.

      1. Now that sounds interesting. Why on earth would they persist with this then?

        1. They seem to be claiming the trademark has been unused, has thus lapsed, and since they are Group Lotus car manufacturers, they should have the right to Lotus names in relation with Autosport at this time.

          Might even work, I think, except that Lotus was never really away, of course, in our minds.

          1. Well it was not completely gone from racing/motorsport as Clive Chapman used the Team Lotus Classics branding (probalby with Hunts consent).

      2. This statement actually shows the shaky ground of Proton as ‘Until 1994, Group Lotus, the road car manufacturer and Team Lotus, which operated the Formula 1 team, were in common ownership with common directors’ is factually incorrect. I was a (very small) shareholder in Group Lotus in the 70’s and 80’s and so was part owner of Group Lotus, but I never had any shares in Team Lotus which was a private company and which was kept very separate. The reports and accounts of Group Lotus at the time made that very clear. Although some of the directors were the same on both companies, many were not. Chapman had a core of directors that he used on all his companies including Mico Light aircraft and speed boats etc, Proton have never claimed ownership of those just because some of the directors were the same.

        I’ve followed Lotus for decades and was always intrigued by Chapman’s convoluted company set ups mainly designed to keep the tax man at bay and him in personal control. I can see why Proton are doing this but I think they are unlikely to succeed.

        1. Exactly, Chapman went to quit some trouble to keep these two entities separated.

    3. I can’t see this mess getting sorted any time soon.

      I hope the name of Team Lotus does return to the F1 paddock along with confirmation of the rights to use the name.

    4. I’m not great with the legal stuff, but if Hunt “acquired assets of Team Lotus, including its name, then how is his “attempt to acquire the name Team Lotus was ineffective”.

    5. Fernandes hinted at this in the Monza F1 forum.

      He said about the guy from lotus car company wanting to think its like Ferrari. According to Fernandes they have always been seperate legal entities.

      Furthermore note they’ve never bothered to challenge this till now.

      I tell you what tho, this is one strange situation. I actually supported the new lotus as lotus because it was the car manufacturer’s entry. I always found that quite easy to swallow, I was aware as a fan of the difference between the two.

      1. Actually they did challenge it, and lost. See Apex comment above.

      2. Do you mean you were *not* aware of the difference?

        I think Fernandes’s team has been a great addition this year. Proton obviously want some of the kudos…

    6. They could be called “team Banana” and it would make no difference to me.

      1. I agree. In fact you have given me an idea for a good name should I ever enter a team into F1! :P

        1. Weren’t they a Raleigh cycle team? Would be great to see how long they could get away with the name before the cyclists come to claim it back!

      2. hahaha this made me laugh! and with their yellow stripe, it seems apt!

      3. LOL, they’re green because they aren’t ripe yet.

        1. lol, then they’ll go with the camel yellow for when they ripen, and JPS black when they rot….

          Sorry, just had to do that.

    7. To me, this is Group Lotus trying to jump in on the great success Lotus Racing has been this year, the amout of respect and goodwill they seem to have garnered and really have established themselves as belonging on the grid.

      The statement above states “…flagrant and persistent breaches of the licence by 1 Malaysia Racing Team, which were damaging to the “Lotus” brand.” I’m sorry Group Lotus, but the only organisation damaging the Lotus brand here is Group Lotus itself.

      1. That part indeed seems rather hard to match with what we have seen of the team and Lotus.

        1. I think by success he means by winning the hearts and minds of the F1 circus.

          They started off getting butchered by some established teams but they very quickly settled in, and even Ferrari haven’t said a bad word about them in a while.

          Apart from acid tongued Mike Gasgoyne they seem to be a lovable bunch of people.

    8. Why does Tony Fernandes want to use the Lotus anyway?

      1. Well, he’s a businessman.

        The thing is, had he taken on a new team name such as AirAsia which he could have easily done at the start of this year, the team would be alien to much part of the world.

        But with the name Lotus, the team has gained respect almost instantaneously. Now, if he can complete the set by getting full rights of Lotus’s racing arm (Team Lotus), then team Lotus will be directly linked to its heritage of the yesteryears.

        I’d say there is so much more economical gains by attaching the team to Lotus instead of any other brand. And Tony ain’t no quitter.

    9. Screw the Proton company! Thank God i’m not buying a new Proton car while i’ve previously thought of getting one to replace my old car locally. Creep those guys should be ashamed of ruining the country’s reputation.

      1Malaysia F1 team? Yucks. Dream on, Malaysia Tak Boleh!

      1. 1Malaysia F1 is the name Proton use to refer to Lotus. They obviously can’t call Lotus “Lotus”, since that would be recognising that Lotus have the rights to the name, which is what Proton are trying to prevent. If Proton were successful in getting Lotus Racing to abandon their name – possibly with a view to using it themselves in future – it’s likely that Lotus Racing would be redubbed Team Air Asia. Air Asia was the jewel in Fernandes’ business crown (at least before Lotus Racing), is widely expected to sponsor Lotus Racing (possibly as title sponsor) in 2011 and is the name of Lotus Racing’s GP2 and GP2 Asia spin-off.

        1. I agree with you on Lotus probably changing name to (Team) Air Asia (Racing) if they’ll have to change name, but let’s hope they don’t have to.

        2. All this nonsense of “1Malaysia F1 Team” reminds me of those petulant Greek nationalists who don’t like the country immediately to the north of them being called “Macedonia,” and so refer to it as “The Republic of Skopje,” or whatever. I know this case is more complicated with the various copyrights and trademarks floating around, but it nonetheless strikes me as, ultimately, being down to nothing more than petulance.

          1. Spot on Red Andy.

      2. DD, I’ve considered buying a Lotus in the past as well. I won’t again. If anyone’s damaging the Lotus brand, it’s Proton, not Fernandez.

    10. This is odd. I can’t think of a possible motivation for Group Lotus to do this. One could theoretically argue that they are disappointed with Lotus Racing’s performance this year, but Lotus have dominated the new teams and will easily coast to tenth place overall barring a race of attrition.

      I find it suspect because of their joint operations with ART Grand Prix. Lotus ART came without precedent, and with the first talk of legal action against Team Fernandes. I was reading this versy story on Autosport, and I found this odd quote:

      “We believe the Lotus brand to be one of the most valuable brands in Formula 1 today,” he [Proton’s chairman whose name I can’t pronounce] said. “We are the owners of this brand, and will take all necessary steps to protect it.”

      If Group Lotus believe the name is so valuable, why are they so eager to protect it? What does it need to be protected from?

      I’m beginning to suspect that Group Lotus have realised that the Lotus name is very valuable, and may be looking to put together a team of their own in 2011 (or, more likely, in 2012). After all, they have an alliance with ART, who had previously tried to enter for next year, but withdrew because they didn’t have the budget. I think we’ll find Group Lotus have seen Lotus Racing has created a niche in the market and want to fill it.

      1. I agree with this post.

        It seems like Group Lotus were keen to have the Lotus name in F1, but they didn’t want to take on the risk, so they let Fernandes take the risk instead.

        If it failed, Group Lotus wouldn’t have lost anything (in fact, they would’ve still made money from licensing the name) and the loss to prestige would be lower because they could blame Fernandes.

        Now that the F1 team hasn’t collapsed in financial ruin, Group Lotus wants in, so they are applying pressure to Fernandes to gain leverage in negotiations.

        Whether or not David Hunt has the rights to the name isn’t going to matter. Group Lotus is trying to corner Fernandes in a corner by leaving him few options (1. Use a non-Lotus name; 2. Face a lengthy legal battle; 3. Let Group Lotus take a stake in the team). Options 1 and 2 could potentially be costly for Fernandes, so Group Lotus wants him to be pragmatic and give them a slice.

        Quite evil.

        Mind you, this is all mere speculation on my part.

        1. I doubt Group Lotus would want to buy a stake in the team. Especially if they want the name for their own. The key here is the Malaysian government, who own a stake in both Group Lotus and Lotus Racing. Whoever they support in this will win the battle. The problem is that the government in Kuala Lumpur has invested far too much in both ventures; Lotus Cars because it is a marque owned by Proton, diversifying their share in the car market, and Lotus Racing because it was partially created as a platform for promoting the country through the 1Malaysia marketing campaign. Both are heavily subsidised by the government – but I’m willing to bet the government will back Lotus Cars, simply because they’re bigger and more important to the Malaysian economy. The only way Fernandes can fight that is in a court; even if Kuala Lumpup back Group Lotus, a legal judgement declaring them to have ownership of the Lotus name is the only thing that will trump Kuala Lumpur’s support for Lotus Cars.

          Unfortunately, it’s very likely that if Lotus Car wins, Lotus Racing will die. The government would be forced to pull out of Lotus Racing, especially if Lotus ART want in. I don’t know if Tony Fernandes would be able to support the team all on his own; he might be known for turning Air Asia around, but very few airliners around the world regularly post a significant profit. It would be a shame if Lotus Cars’ attempt to take control of the Lotus name would destroy Lotus Racing, because they’ve clearly been the standout performers of the back half of the grid this season, and I think Tony Fernandes is exactly the kind of person Formula 1 needs.

          1. “– but I’m willing to bet the government will back Lotus Cars, simply because they’re bigger and more important to the Malaysian economy”

            I was under the impression that Lotus Cars are loss making at the moment, but Lotus Engineering is profitable. In any case I expect Air Asia and 1 Malaysia (Tourism)contributes more to the local economy than Group Lotus.

            1. But Group Lotus comes under the banner of Proton, who do contribute a lot since they’re pretty much Malaysia’s national car manufacturer.

          2. I do think Fernandez has some very good political connections as well.
            It seems him turning Air Asia into the succes it is now has given him a lot of goodwill.

            And from the interview gpcambell refers to i got the impression that there is some discontent with the Ferrari guys installed at Lotus Cars in senior level Government as well (for going into racing when the car company is far from stable). A lot of politics going on.

            1. And Fernandes and Bernie are good buddies…

    11. Tony joked about “Fernandes Racing” the other day.

      1. There are better ways to contribute than copy-pasting from articles on the web.

    12. It’s all rather odd and tiresome. If Group Lotus were really so bothered about having the Lotus name in F1 against their wishes, shouldn’t this all have happened 12 months ago?

      1. My suspicion is that Group Lotus didn’t realize the significance (and monetary worth) of the Lotus name in F1 back when they allowed Fernandes to dub the 1Malaysia team Lotus Racing. Now that they’ve seen the commercial value of having a Lotus team in F1, they want in on the act and aren’t willing to “share” it with Fernandes.

      2. It should have – and that’s what I was talking about with the complete lack of apparent motive for doing it. All I can conclude is that they have seen the Lotus name still carries weight in the sport and they want to use it themselves.

        1. I think that’s exactly what’s happened. They’ve seen the goodwill that Fernandes has received in F1 and want to jump on the bandwagon.

          If by some fluke they do legally acquire the rights to the Team Lotus name and gain an entry with ART either by selection or by purchasing HRT or Torro Rosso, I seriously doubt they would be received with the same goodwill that Fernandes has been.

    13. What a stupid mess. I never really considered Lotus Racing as “proper” Lotus but they won me over with time. Now Proton want to stop them from using any Lotus name at all. And if they had no right in the first place, why squawk about this all now? It’s easy to see through their rhetoric that this is some kind of pride-commerce issue; Lotus has come back and now Proton want that money for themselves.

      1. I think what it amounts to is that Fernandes paid Group Lotus a license fee to use the name “Lotus Racing.” As soon as he secured the rights to the “Team Lotus” name, he would no longer be paying them a license fee, but instead pay Hunt. They realized that they’d be out of the loop and are now getting greedy about having a piece of the pie.

    14. Dany Bahar and ex-Ferrari guys arrived after Fernandes did his licensing deal – and sources say that on arrival, Bahar already wanted to scupper it.

      1. Apex, please make sure to cite where you got your comments. That one came from Adam Cooper’s Autosport article.

      2. Apex, please make sure to cite any quotes you include in your comments. That was from Adam Cooper’s Autosport article.

        1. Journeyer, please make sure to cite your sources when you comment. That comment was lifted from the one immediately above you. :P

          1. Silly double post. :) It wouldn’t show up the first time. Had to get Keith’s help to pick it up from the spam bin.

    15. I’m confused, when Lotus Racing/1 Malaysia Racing Team was founded in 2009, I thought it had the same ownership as Group Lotus and Proton and they were all linked to the Malaysian Government.

      I thought Tony Fernandes was only brought in originally as a team principle for the F1 team not that he was the owner of the F1 team.

    16. Thing is that Group Lotus are sniffing arround Fernandes to get what he has, something that Group Lotus hasnt, a nice pice of FIA hedded paper with “Formula 1 Entry” on it.

      Group Lotus want to get into F1 the cheap way, try and get a team that was running with their name on it to run their plan.

      Im sure if Tony Fernandes wanted to, he could move all his assets to the UK and get Group Lotus to challange him in court for the rights, as im pretty sure that under UK law everything is right and propper.

      Mr Hunt has tried to get back into F1 on one occasion if i can remember back to the 90s, and under UK law thats perfectly legal as a rights holder.

      Im no lawer, but i do know that Fernandes is the type of man not to be totally sure that he has got everything right and propper.

      There is one way for this to be resolved, and this could be the back water of the story, Proton (Malasian Government Owned) has been trying to sell Lotus cars for a few years now (since 2002 i think) and this could be the way they are trying to offload the company. Sell it to Fernandes and get him to take all the liability for Lotus Automotive whitch includes Group Lotus.

    17. Why doesn’t Proton buy some shares of the F1 team so they can get involved directly?

      1. Because they don’t want that. They want ownership of the name. They couldn’t care less about Fernandes so long as he stops calling the team Lotus. They’re not interested in working with him.

    18. Its all about politics and money. It was never a perfect marriage when Naza (with big sponsorship money) itself a giant in Malaysian automotive industry coming together with Proton (lending its Lotus name).

      With Tony running the team, its widely expected he will bring the team to greater success and Proton wanting a bigger bite out of the success on and off track, especially those mega brand’s sponsorships.

      Seeing their imminent failure to wrestle a bigger share, proton threatened to pull the Lotus branding and Tony countered it by buying Team Lotus’s legal rights.

      Btw those who speculated Proton’s own interest to run their own “legitimate” Lotus team in F1 is not very realistic as they are posting losses almost every year now despite Malaysian gov protecting it by discouraging people from buying foreign made cars by implementing 200% taxes. Go to hell with Proton.

      1. But they’re not looking to run their own team. They’d be looking to give the Lotus name to ART Grand Prix and have ART run the Lotus team on their behalf.

    19. Okay, if I were Tony Fernandes, here’s how I’d play the next few days:

      Step I: Become BFFs with Nicolas Todt
      The first thing I’d do tomorrow morning is call Todt and make him my news best friend, preferrably so tight that we can’t remember what life was like before we met the other. Maybe try and establish some kind of driver development program built on the belief that Lotus Cars won’t get the rights to the name. This is to buy a little bit of time – Proton specifically refer to the Lotus name as a brand, which means they see it as an asset, probably one to sell to the highest bidder. They already have a deal with ART Grand Prix, sponsoring them in GP2, GP2 Asia and GP3. My relationship with Todt doesn’t have to work, it simply has to exist because it creates a conflict of interests between myself, ART and Proton. This will force Proton to look at other alternatives.

      Step II: Get Renault On My Side
      Next, I’m going to need support from the other teams. The teams can block an entry to the grid, but I need a standing majority; that means I need four of the twelve teams to block Proton from joining the sport. I count as one, so I need three more, and the most obvious choice is Renault. It seems to be an open secret that Lotus will use Renault engines next season, so there’s a relationship there. I’d offer Renault wantever they wanted – to take any driver (Petrov, d’Ambrosio, Tung, Charouz, Grosjean) they wanted me to in addition to their engines, to give them first pick of my rivers; anything they wanted in exchange for their support.

      Step III: Undermine Ferrari
      I can kill two birds with one stone here. Ferrari and ART have a connection through Nicoas Todt and Jules Bianchi. They also have the support of Sauber and Toro Rosso in any political move they make. I can get Toro Rosso on my side at the same time as weakening Ferrari if they try and let ART in. To do that, I have to use my relationship with Renault to win over Renault’s customers – Red Bull. Red Bull have nothing to lose from supporting me and because they own Toro Rosso, Toro Rosso will do whatever Red Bull says. So now I have my vote, plus Renault, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, and Ferrari have one less that they can count on.

      Step IV: Campaign to the Others
      I’ve got four votes, which gives me a majority, but stength lies in numbers. I’d start targeting other teams – specifically Virgin, Hispania and probably Force India – to back me up if I need it. It’s not absolutely essential, but it helps. With their support, I have hold the entire grid in limbo and delay any attempt by Proton/ART to join the grid in 2011. This buys me enough time for the next step:

      Step V: Fight Back
      With the grid in a state of stalemate, I can take my time to prepare a defence against Proton. They won’t be able to join the 2011 grid, because I’ll have enough votes to stop them from entering. I might have to change my name for 2011, but I’ll have enough time to fight Proton properly.

      1. Step I is already unlikely. If I were Nicolas Todt, why would I even be involved with Tony if Lotus will probably back me up in the lower formulae and probably help me get a budget to enter F1 by 2012?

        As for the rest, while Renault may decide to supply Lotus with engines, I don’t see why they’d go out of their way to protect Lotus.

        1. Step I doesn’t have to work, per se. Fernandes just needs to make contact with Todt to create a conflict of interests and slow Proton down.

          And Renault will protect Lotus because Lotus is a Renault customer. Engine deals cost about five million dollars, money that Renault could use on developing their car or investing in another driver.

      2. Pure geniousness, have you ever though of running an f1 team?

        1. Frequently. The teams never seem to reply to my e-mails, though.

          1. Mailed Tony yet? :D

    20. Tony is in deep mess, he must have stepped on wrong toes in the Malaysian Govt. it sounds as if proton does not like Tony Fernandes..

    21. May I suggest getting all Lotus racing accesories now as this will probably be a big part of F1 history in the future. “Team Lotus Return Fails”. Soon the team will be pushed into oblivian, with memoribilia as the only means of remembrance.

    22. Whatever happened to “Pacific Team Lotus”?

    23. I’ll be glad to see the back of the Lotus name. Fact is, it’s just not Lotus.

    24. Group Lotus’ endgame becomes a little bit clearer:

      Indycar expansion plans –

      Le Mans development program –

      Add to that their arrangement with ART in GP2 and GP3, and they’re making a systematic three-way push into American and European open-wheel racers, plus sports car. The three biggest motorsport championships are all being covered, or will be if they have their way and get the name back. I cannot imagine that they would not try and enter Formula 1 given that they’re expanding their Indycar program to sponsor a second car and develop an ICONIC package for 2012 and expand outward into LMP-2.

      1. Acually, if you look at the Le Mans link, the image clearly shows GP2, LMP-2 and Indycar plus GT2 and GT4 with what looks like an Evora and an Elise. There’s also the Type-125, the F1-inspired track day car. Notice anything that’s missing? Like, say, Formula 1?

        1. How can they possibly afford all this? I was under the impression that Peugeot left F1 in order to open up funds for Le Mans, and that is is just to prohibitively expensive to run teams in both formulae. I would think ferrari could have a factory prototype in Le Mans, as wll as major manufacturers like Daimler, VW etc.

          It may be enitirely possible to enter production based entries into Le Mans, and to become majorly involved in IndyCar and GP2/3, its just impossible to me how they car pay for all of this, when they arent really making major amounts of money?

          1. Actualy, Id question the sanity of the board in this case. They could have liked up with fernades and – to the common man – had a FORMULA ONE entry, for virtually nothing, as well as involvement in the other two global major formulae.

            1. Well, it’s not actually that expensive to do what they’re doing. Le Mans is the only one that’s really going to cost them anything. They’re sponsoring Takuma Sato, and they’ll expand that sponsor deal to include another car next year. They’re also sponsoring ART in GP2 and GP3. So that’s bringing a lot of money into the company. Likewise, they’ve already got road-going versions of the Evora and Elise; all they need to do is let teams run them in the respective series. Developing the ICONIC package and the Le Mans Prototype will cost them them most, but it’s not like they’re trying to enter six motorsport disciplines at the same time. And they don’t want to work with Fernandes, because they want Lotus Racing to be theirs, or at least run by someone they deem suitable.

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