As reported in our earlier post, the new Lotus F1 team which announced its driver line-up yesterday has not much to do with Lotus Cars the manufacturer. The F1 team is actually managed by Litespeed, a UK based racing outfit who are licensing the famous name from parent company Proton. But that could change in the future.
Team Principal Tony Fernandes said that the link between Lotus F1 and Lotus Cars is set to grow. “Over time that relationship will grow. Lotus will probably buy into the team at some stage. More and more technology from our side will flow into Lotus cars and we will promote the Lotus brand. I see it in time being no different from how Ferrari works.”
“I don’t think we can claim any of the heritage but we are very clear about making sure we don’t destroy any of the prestige,” he added. Under the guidance of founder Colin Chapman, the original Lotus team won seven constructors’ and six drivers’ titles while dominating the 1960s and ‘70s.
The AirAsia boss also revealed that the team has “an advisory council to make sure that we protect what has been built by Colin Chapman and the people at Lotus.” He did not elaborate on this, so I wonder how will it work out. Will the council put pressure on the team to live up to the name if it props up the back of the grid?