litespeed-f3
Litespeed’s F3 race car

Finally some details from the horses mouth – the 1Malaysia name apparently shares nothing more in common with Najib’s 1Malaysia administration other than the similiar name, as a tribute most likely.

  • The government announced yesterday that it has no equity directly or indirectly in the 1Malaysia F1 Team.
  • Proton will license its Lotus brand to 1Malaysia F1 Team.
  • The team will be called Team Lotus.
  • It’s actually run and funded by Litespeed, Naza, and the Tune Group.
  • The team has a start-up capital of RM168 million and a baseline annual budget of an estimated RM308 million.
  • The scope of Proton’s involvement will hopefully go beyond licensing the brand and will include technology transfer, marketing rights and employment opportunities.
  • Petronas (so far) will come in through its Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, which will collaborate with the team together with UTM to help develop future Malaysian engineers, etc.
  • Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) will somehow be involved. CTRM is a composites manufacturer with clients like Airbus. It is owned 92% by the government’s Ministry of Finance and 8% by Petronas. They make the composite body shell for Lotus Europa S, and are the official repairer for the teams participating in the Formula BMW Pacific.

So far no concrete mention of Proton or government money being used so far. It doesn’t even look like Lotus will be running the team, instead expertise will come from Litespeed, which is a team participating in F3 founded by ex-Lotus employees Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington. In fact we’ve already readabout this team since June.