After Lotus officially announced to change its name to 'Team Lotus', various involved parties have voiced their opinion over whether this is legal. As this year's license to run at 'Lotus Racing' was revoked, the team is looking for other possiblities for next year.
With their current license by Group Lotus withdrawn, the team have sought for possibilities to run as 'Team Lotus', a name of which rights are held by David Hunt. Hunt had bought the rights of the name and logo from the administrator after the Lotus team ran out of money in 1994.
Current Lotus Racing Team Principal, Tony Fernandes has now acquired these rights from David Hunt.
Meanwhile, Proton, a shareholder in Group Lotus, claim that the rights bought by Tony Fernandes have no legal foundation anymore. It has also announced that it will do everything it can to support Lotus Group to prevent others from using the Lotus automotive brand.
Lotus Racing Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat said: "The details of what has been going on behind the scenes are now coming to light, and that’s good because it means the shareholders of Proton, the government, will now know the truth of what has been going on. However the important thing is to look at what we are doing to guarantee future success. Personally I think it’s odd that our colleagues at Group Lotus have not embraced what we are giving them – a global platform for creating huge awareness and great value for their operations, all at no cost to them."
It clears up the mess that is going on, as both Group Lotus and 1Malaysia Racing, the actual F1 team, are indirectly owned by the Malaysian government, and will both have to report to Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak.
Talks are still going on behind the scene, and as a result of a meeting between Lotus Racing and Proton, the following statement was released:
"In a bid to alleviate the public confusion surrounding the ongoing matter between Lotus Racing and Proton / Group Lotus, Lotus Racing shareholder and Deputy Team Principal Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun recently had the opportunity to meet Proton Adviser Tun Dr Mahathir. The meeting was to discuss the matter in person and agree a future course of action for Lotus Racing."
"Lotus Racing believes it is acting within its own rights, and as a result of this meeting, the team will now refrain from making any further comments on the matter. This action is upon advice from Tun Dr Mahathir, and it is out of our respect for him that we will act upon his wishes as he has supported us since our inception, and his backing has been invaluable in our growth."
"We are very grateful for having had the opportunity to put forth our case and have complete trust that a fair review will be made, and a decision on the matter will be announced in due course."