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Fernandes hints at Team Lotus name change

ESPNF1 Staff
September 12, 2011 « Alonso showing class - Domenicali | »
Team Lotus could change its name © Sutton Images
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Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has admitted it is not healthy to have two teams carrying the Lotus name in Formula One amid rumours that his outfit will be rebranded in 2012.

Team Lotus fought and won a long battle with car company Group Lotus over the use of the historic name in Formula One, but it now appears as though Fernandes is willing to surrender it. There has been speculation in recent weeks that Team Lotus could rename itself Caterham - a car company which Fernandes bought earlier this year - but there has been no official word from the team.

However, over the Italian Grand Prix weekend Fernandes dropped the biggest hint yet that things could change.

"I always had a problem with 'Am I really Team Lotus?' because there's a big question mark on that," he was quoted by Reuters. "You can't have a name and not monetise it. So we will have to wait and see ... I don't think this is healthy for anyone, having Lotus Renault and Team Lotus."

On Sunday he told BBC Sport that over the next two months he would work towards a solution that satisfied both Team Lotus and Group Lotus.

"We had a pretty weird situation here and hopefully pragmatism will work out," Fernandes added. "When I came into this I said the most important thing was not to destroy the Team Lotus brand and we worked very hard to keep it. Certain things have conspired not to really go our way, but I think doors are open to make things workable and hopefully over the next two months we'll have a situation where everyone wins. So let's keep our fingers crossed."

Fernandes also said that Team Lotus is considering moving base after the opening flyaway races next season, with Silverstone or the former TWR base in Leafield being considered.

"The perfect scenario would be for the cars to leave for Australia and come back to a new home," he said. "There's no two ways about it. But Hingham will always be there because we've got composites, we will be developing a technology and engineering division."