As you know, the Lotus vs Lotus naming dispute is going straight to the British court and a hearing has been scheduled for 21 March. According to Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, Proton owned Group Lotus has made an offer for an out of court settlement, and he has rejected it as the sum was deemed too small. The declined offer was worth £6 million.
“It was six million pounds for an out-of-court settlement. Of course I would like to end it but the proposal by Proton would have bankrupted the company. We could not accept it,” the AirAsia chief told AFP, adding that 250 jobs and huge investments by shareholders are at stake.
“We never created the situation. We had a five-year agreement. Proton thought they can bully us out. We honestly worked hard to revive the Lotus name in F1. I hope it will end soon. The legal row does not help. That is for sure.”
As a recap, the current stalemate started when Group Lotus terminated its licence agreement with the Lotus Racing before throwing its support behind Renault to form Lotus Renault GP. Meanwhile, Fernandes entered his team as Team Lotus after purchasing the rights to the old name from David Hunt. Group Lotus is arguing that they have no rights to the Lotus name.
To the court it is!