Lotus Cars likely to buy into F1 team

(GMM) The link between the new Malaysian owned Lotus team and the Lotus Cars company is set to grow in the future, according to Tony Fernandes.

The 45-year-old Malaysian entrepreneur and AirAsia chief is, through his company Tune Group, one of the largest investors of the 2010 entrant and also the team principal.

Also known as 1Malaysia, the outfit uses the famous Lotus name under license by Proton, the owners of the British sports car maker Lotus Cars.

But Lotus F1's affiliation with Lotus Cars, headed by former Red Bull and Ferrari bigwig Dany Bahar, actually extends no further than that at present.

"Over time that relationship will grow," Fernandes said at the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco, according to F1's official website.

"Lotus will probably buy into the team at some stage," he added. "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," said Fernandes.

He revealed that what he described as an "advisory council" oversees how the use of the Lotus name is managed.

The original Lotus team was founded by Colin Chapman in 1958 and won 7 constructors' and 6 drivers' world championships until its final race in 1994.

"I don't think we can claim any of the heritage," said Fernandes, "but we are very clear about making sure we don't destroy any of the prestige.

"It's phenomenal history, a phenomenal brand. We can't claim it, but we will work with it, we'll celebrate it and we'll honor it," he added.

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