• Lotus news

Tony Fernandes buys Caterham

ESPNF1 Staff
April 22, 2011 « Kubica set to leave hospital within ten days | »
Tony Fernandes' Team Lotus is currently involved in legal action with Group Lotus over the use of the Lotus name in Formula One © Sutton Images

Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes has purchased the British sportscar company Caterham.

Lotus had said it would be making "an incredibly exciting announcement about the future of our team" next week, and documents show that Mr Anthony Francis Fernandes was appointed as a director of Caterham Cars Group Limited on April 12.

The significance of the acquisition is that Caterham was born out of Lotus, initially as a dealer of the iconic Lotus Seven, and then when it purchased the rights to continue manufacturing the Seven when Lotus decided to stop in 1973. Caterham's only car at present is the Caterham 7, a direct evolution of the Lotus.

The purchase gives Fernandes a way in to the automotive industry which had been made more difficult following the Group Lotus row, as well as another option if a ruling forced him to relinquish the Team Lotus name. A verdict on the dispute from the London High Court is not expected until next month.