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Gascoyne frustrated at Group Lotus

ESPNF1 Staff
December 2, 2010 « Maldonado confirmed at Williams | »
Mike Gascoyne is frustrated with the ongoing wrangles about the team name © Sutton Images

Lotus technical boss Mike Gascoyne has vented his frustration that the team may not run with the name 'Team Lotus' in 2011.

Group Lotus recently announced they would be ending their collaboration with the team although team boss Tony Fernandes' application to be called Team Lotus in 2011 has for now been accepted by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

"We are here, and whatever we may be called there will be a Formula One team based in Norfolk again, making racing and engineering racing cars, which I think is great for Norfolk and is a sense of pride for me as a Norfolk lad," Gascoyne told Norfolk newspaper Eastern Daily Press. "I just can't quite understand why Group Lotus wouldn't want it to be called Lotus."

It is also rumoured that Group Lotus are planning to pay millions for title sponsorship of the Renault F1 team. For Gascoyne, however, that is not the ethos of the Lotus brand.

"I think when Colin Chapman brought sponsorship into F1, he thought he'd be on the receiving end - he wouldn't be paying it out. For me, Colin Chapman was about engineering, about making and engineering racing cars. That's what Team Lotus did; that's what we do here.

"It's not about going and sponsoring a French manufacturer to put a badge on it, I find that very difficult to understand."

And Genii Capital chairman and majority Renault shareholder Gerard Lopez told ESPNF1 that there had been talks with Lotus but in a wider ranging context than just Formula One.

"The funny thing about it is that we've been talking about Lotus Group for over a year about a Formula One unrelated business and the result of us talking to them and the result of them deciding to stop their collaboration with 1Malaysia Racing led to two things. First of all, people assuming that something was going on and secondly with us actually being in contact with them and evaluating whether it would make sense for us or not to put everything under one roof and do F1 but also do other things with Lotus and with Proton, so that's where the story comes from.

"For sure there have been discussions but they are much wider ranging than just the F1 discussions. There is a high chance of something happening between Lotus Group and Genii Capital and Proton but we're not there yet."