Group Lotus to Tony Fernades: Cease and Desist

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by prisonermonkeys, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Ardius

    Ardius

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    Litespeed are not owned by Lotus Racing/Team Lotus. This is fact, not opinion. This is not disagreement, you are flat wrong. There is a relationship between the two, but not as far as the F3 team making up the F1 team...as we know the F1 team comprises mostly of ex-Toyota, Renault and Force India staff.
     
  2. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Easy, ladies and gentlemen. Emotions and tempers are starting to run a little hot around here. I don't want to have to intervene, but don't doubt for a moment that I won't if I feel I have to. So everybody just take a minute, understad?

    [/modliness]
    mr_geez, allow me to spell this one out for you: Litespeed have no involvement with the current Lotus Racing. They originally planned to submit a grid entry bid for 2010 and received approval to use the Lotus name. However, they did not make it past the first round of bidding, and that is where the Litespeed-Lotus project ended. Parallel to this, Tony Fernandes was developing what is now Lotus Racing. They picked up Mike Gascoyne as designer, the only person in the current Lotus Racing who was ever affiliated with the Litespeed project. This is likely how they were able to turn a car around in under six months; Gascoyne had no doubt made significant progress on the design of what would become the Lotus T127 by the time he joined Fernandes and his crew. Likewise, ART Grand Prix have no connection to the team known as Renault F1. Lotus Cars entered into a similar title sponsorship arrangement with ART Grand Prix in GP2 and GP3, but ART have no affiliation with the Lotus-Renault team. I cannot emphasise this enough: Litespeed F3 and ART Grand Prix have nothing to do with Formula 1.
     
  3. mr_geez

    mr_geez

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    I don't think I ever wrote that Team Lotus owns Litespeed, but that they have shares ( or some kind of other financial backing from Fernandez) in that company, that is why I wrote "bought into Litespeed".

    EDIT: Yup, I wrote that he got into F1 as Litespeed on page 3, my bad. He got there as 1Malaysia F1 Team.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  4. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I'd like to see a source stating this, as I don't recall ever reading Fernandes taking a stake in Litespeed. Which, even if he did buy a stake or provide financial support, doesn't equal the same thing as Fernandes buying into Litespeed's F1 operation....as there never was a Litespeed F1 operation, just an entry which was denied.
    Fernandes and Gascoyne did all the work themselves pretty much, they didn't even have an entry to purchase from Litespeed.
    Any financial support Fernandes is giving to Litespeed is purely with respect to feeder series, as he (or at least Proton) did with Mofasz Racing in World Series by Renault. But he never purchased anything from Litespeed and he never bought into someone else's team or took what they had produced so far. He started from nothing.
     
  5. mr_geez

    mr_geez

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    Ok, I'll try to find source for the financial backing of Tony.


    But my whole point was that both parties (Group Lotus and Team Lotus) are very cynical in claiming Racing Heritage of the Lotus Team from the "old days".


    Team Lotus only have the name because they bought it from Hunt's brother (and it is not even clear if he had the right to sell them because of all the legal problems back in the mid 90's) when Group Lotus took their license away, when Group Lotus Lotus-Renault have the name because they bought shares in Enstone based Renault F1 Team. I wish both groups/teams well, but I have more "warm feelings" for Lotus-Renault from Enstone because at least they have some connection to Lotus, the car manufacturer (which I hope will not vanish from the automotive market with help from Proton and Bahr), not some virtual license to use the name which was dead in F1 since the "dark ages" of Pacific-Lotus in mid 90's.

    Anyway , I hope both parties will stay as long as possible in F1 and be competitive.

    cheers.
     
  6. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I agree that initially Fernandes appeared to be cynical in that respect, however, the way he went about it eventually and what he has achieved so far in my opinion have earnt him the right to run as Team Lotus. It all seemed a little more respectful than what Bahar is doing.
    I'm more thinking that Lotus Cars are not being realistic here and I'm skeptical they will be in F1 7 years. Their plans appear far too ambitious. At least Fernandes is independent of all that and has certainly come across as someone who is in it for the long-run, not just immediate success. What happens when Renault F1 struggle for a couple of seasons again? It will happen, because it always happens in motorsport. This is the difference between a racing team and a manufacturer. The manufacturer most likely will cut their losses and leave. A racing team will want to survive as they exist for nothing else. I'm sure Renault/Enstone would find another buyer again, but it doesn't make me like these instant-success hunters any more. Lotus Cars' massive attack on all racing categories plus launching 5 new models is rediculous.
    Of course, Fernandes also has his other businesses to attend, but these are already successful companies, not ambitious projects all starting up at the same time.

    Also, it seems to have been forgotten in all of this - what happens to DAMS? Will they still run Renault liveries?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  7. mr_geez

    mr_geez

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    According to their Twitter , we'll find out soon:

    quote from 7th December: Rebuilding and painting the new GP2 cars. Departure of the freight next week.
     
  8. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    And a photoshop with black endplates:

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  9. Prince.M5

    Prince.M5

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    I honestly think the livery with the black endplates looks very good! But not sure if Total allows them to blacken it up though :p
     
  10. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    They also need something on the engine cowling and the space where the Lada and Vyborg Shipyard logos were this year. I imagine that if Petrov is re-signed - Dany Bahar likes having him there and Gerard Lopez has said Petrov is their first choice - then the space forward of the cockpit will go to his sponsors, whilst the engins cowling could probably do with a Lotuc Cars logo or something.

    It'd also be even more epic without the shark fin.
     
  11. RTSolvalou

    RTSolvalou (Banned)

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    Lotus-Green Endplates might look good, with the white Total text branding just having a red outline around it, I think it would stand out well for them on tv, seeing as red and green contrast well.
    Maybe the cockpit endplates in green too.
     
  12. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Green and black do not go together. Green and red is an even worse idea; for one, it won't be picked up by cameras, and secondly, some people are colour-blind. I for one cannot see red on green or green on red. The whole thing would just look like a mess. As Renault themselves have proven for three straight years, too many colours and ruin a livery. You either want two dominant colours and no minor colours, or one dominant colour and two minor colours. The black and gold anre Lotus Renault's dominant colours.
     
  13. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Excuse the double-post, but I found this today. I've never through much of Joe Saward - I've been know to refer to his blog as Joe's Award for Hack Journalism - but this does actually make sense. It's a logical step forward in the Lotus vs. Lotus case.

    The short version is that Tony Fernandes launched Lotus Racing with every intention of acquiring Lotus Cars ar some point in the future and turning them around the way he did Air Asia. But then Dany Bahar got appointed to lead Group Lotus, and Fernandes' plan fell apart. But rather than be beaten down, he's (supposedly - this is Joe Saward we're talking about here) toying with the idea of starting his own car company and tying it in with Team Lotus. The name "Lion" has apparently been suggested for the car company, which would make Team Lotus known as Team Lotus Lion. And Dany Bahar cannot oppose the name change - even if he wants Team Lotus to act as a secondary Group Lotus team - because he's not a team owner.

    However, all of this is somewhat questionable since Saward is literally the only person reporting it, but it does make sense, which is why I'm willing to give it the time of day. But I do agree with him on one count: with all the claims and counter-claims before the courts, the Lotus situation isn't going to be resolved before the season begins.
     
  14. RTSolvalou

    RTSolvalou (Banned)

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    A little more lotus drama today involving Autosport magazine. I wish there was an easy way to clarify for all followers of the sport that danny bahar and his buy-in is a disgrace to lotus and in no way attached to the F1 lotus teams of the past despite his lying efforts, and that Fernandes' Lotus is the real lotus. (I'd hate for people to mistake the new one for the real thing)
    I think he is on some sort of quest to be remembered for his Lotus exploits and has some sort of success complex, desperate to attain the millionaire playboy status, it's sad.
     
  15. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    No, actually, I think it's becoming apparent that Bahar's Formula 1 buy-in is not some devious ploy to be remembered by everyone. When you look at it, Group Lotus are working in conjunction with GP2, GP2 Asia, GP3 and Indycar teams and are looking at expanding into GT2, GT4 an possibly even Le Mans in some way. All up, they're getting coverage in eight or nine different international motorsport disciplines, which is a pretty exhausive effort. And by becoming title sponsors, he's found a way to do it pretty cheaply (come on - who wouldn't mind seeing a Peugeot 908 in JPS black and gold?).

    Bahar is no stranger to Formula 1. He used to work for Red Bull, and I'm told he was the guy who came up with those marketing things like when the Red Bull drivers wore Superman capes. A lot of that rock-star edge was lost when he left the team. I think he was employed by the Malaysian government to turn things around for Proton, which is no easy feat. It's taken time to go through the motions, and Tony Fernandes' Lotus Racing is something of a hurdle for him just as much as Bahar is a hurdle for Fernandes.

    While it's true that Lotus Cars and Team Lotus are not one and the same, their fates are intertwined. After all, both were founded by the same man, and Lotus Cars have probably been the premier British sports car marque for some time now. A lot of their cars - the Esprit, the Elise, the Evora, - are very much lightweight sports cars. Hell, their system of designating road car and race car chassis are aligned. If there was no Bahar, no Fernandes, no Chapman, etc. and Lotus was created tomorrow, they'd certainly have much more business being in Formula 1 than the likes of Honda and Toyota. I don't think Bahar is the villain a lot of people make him out to be. He wants to protect the legacy of Lotus Cars just as much as Fernandes wants to protect the Team Lotus name. He may not be going about it the right way, but I believe Bahar's intentions are good.

    PS - It's nice to see another Vitaly Petrov fan. We're a rare breed.
     
  16. Ardius

    Ardius

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    $20 million is cheap now? For 7 years? Plus all those other motorsports programmes and the R&D they are going to be putting into those GT cars? As well as launching 5 new car models?
    Not to mention Renault/Genii were already struggling for cash....Lotus sponsorship seems to be propping that team up. And they're even going to keep Petrov as pay driver.

    Bahar's intentions are more PR trash, he claims they aren't trying to "be Team Lotus" yet colours his cars JPS colours. He even admits that the reason they didn't tie up properly with Fernandes is becase he wanted more control over the team...which confirms what we suspected from the beginning.

    Also let me put it again - Lotus Cars have never been in F1....this is not Toyota or Honda who had a manufacturer presence. Lotus' history in F1 is as an independent team run without any connnection to a manufacturer. What Bahar and Lotus Cars/Proton are saying is utter rubbish, trying to pass off Team Lotus' history as their own. They are welcome in F1....but not pretending to be Team Lotus and re-writing history.
    Its just all so corporation-y. No emotions here, just marketing, this isn't about starting their own legacy, trying to build up to winning championships through their own hard work. This is sponsoring an existing winning team and pretending they already have a legacy. Not only that, but they seem to have rediculously-ambitious plans that really question their long-term commitment to the sport. Is it so hard to see why Bahar is seen as a villain?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  17. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Compared to the $150 million budget Renault had in 2010 alone ... yes. Yes it is.
     
  18. Ardius

    Ardius

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    Sponsorship != race team budget. Obvioiusly its cheaper than the budget of running the team overall, but as sponsorship for one season...thats not cheap.

    Especially as Renault's success is not guaranteed and the rest of Renault's budget is not so solid. It seems to me Renault could potentially be either on the edge of a fall in form or a rise to the top again, if they continue to struggle for cash, I rather doubt Group Lotus will increase sponsorship. If they do, they are letting themselves in for a bottomless-pit of spending.
     
  19. Roo

    Roo Premium

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    The design Tony Fernandes was going to use, before Renault announced theirs.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/88757
     
  20. Prince.M5

    Prince.M5

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    It looks beautiful! But shame it's not going to be raced :(
     
  21. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    I don't see why they couldn't simply re-colour it to be green, yellow and white.

    Anyway, the Lotus situation is getting a bit more interesting:
    My guess is that the Chapmans don't like the idea of two Lotus teams running around, potentially doing damage to one another - especially if the legal dispute over the name is not going to be resolved for some time. Clive Chapman may be throwing his support behind Group Lotus in an effort to inspire Tony Fernandes to change his team name, thus removing one of the two Lotuses. Ferandes and his team could very well survive on their own; I think they've done enough this year to forge an identity for themselves.
     
  22. RTSolvalou

    RTSolvalou (Banned)

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    Very interesting.
     
  23. Only_in_f1

    Only_in_f1

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    What Clive Chapman has to say should have no real impact on anything. At the end of it all Tony Fernandes allegedly owns the rights to the name and thus will keep it for as long as he wants. And so he should.
     
  24. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Fernandes only has the rights to the Team Lotus name because he bought them. Put yourself in Clive Chapman's shoes - would you really wany someone to claim something that have been a part of your family for years as their own simply because they purchased it?
     
  25. Only_in_f1

    Only_in_f1

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    Aren't Group Lotus a similar deal though? They bought the Lotus name after the collapse of Bugatti in 1994. Hunt bought the F1 name which Proton didn't want to buy.

    Thing is what Clive Chapman thinks shouldn't have a real baring on anything that happens in a court case/ any decision that is made. Clive himself has done little for F1 or Lotus as a group and is only a sentimental voice.

    After all Clive at the beginning of the year was all for Tony and his Lotus revival. I wonder if he'll be asking for his dad's cap back...
     
  26. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Group Lotus aren't intending to run under the Team Lotus name. It's pretty clear that it's Lotus Cars who are doing this. Their use of the black and gold livery is intended as a tribute to the days of Team Lotus, but they are not claiming that heritage as their own. Lotus Racing put forward a video summarising their 2010 season, and where their name was originally intended as the same sort of tribute as Group Lotus' livery, the video makes it pretty obvious that they're laying claim to the Team Lotus history.
     
  27. Only_in_f1

    Only_in_f1

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    Ok, fair point.

    But I point again to beginning of the season when Clive Chapman was guest of honour and the Bahrain GP and jumping on the Lotus + Tony Fernandes band wagon.
     
  28. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Well, yes - he did give them Colin's famous black cap. But, he is entitled to change his opinion, isn't he? He might have endorsed the Lotus Racing efforts, but once they started talking about becoming Team Lotus and some of their promotional material started to allude to the original Team Lotus' history being their own, Clive Chapman's feelings may well have soured as Fernandes started going too far to the point where he did a total backflip on his support for Lotus Racing.
     
  29. Only_in_f1

    Only_in_f1

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    Not to be disrespectful to Clive Chapman, but apart from the link due to his father what real right does he have? I hark back to my first post, if he doesn't legally own any of the Team Lotus or Lotus name then really...

    Of course he can have and change his opinion but I don't see it as huge F1 news that it's been treated on some F1 News outlets.

    I mean from the beginning Fernandes has piggy backed on the Lotus history, it's just odd that all of a sudden he comes out with a statement of support for the new 'lotus' team. Whether Tony wants to call it Team Lotus, Lotus Racing or Lotus Flower he still implies the same racing heritage with the Lotus name.

    The whole Lotus situation is yet to come to a head yet, so it'll be interesting when it does... whenever that is.
     
  30. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    He may not have a say legally, but his endorsement does count a lot in an intangible sense.