Home | Formula 1 | F1 sponsorship for Group Lotus makes no sense – Gascoyne

F1 sponsorship for Group Lotus makes no sense – Gascoyne

A frustrated Mike Gascoyne has admitted he is not sure Team Lotus will race to the 2011 grid with that name.

Even though the separate Group Lotus is contesting team boss Tony Fernandes’ plans, his application to be called Team Lotus in 2011 has for now been accepted by the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

It was expected that the team might drop the Lotus moniker due to the dispute, as Group Lotus reportedly looks to enter F1 next year as a sponsor to the Enstone based team Renault.

Fernandes wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that his decision to push ahead with the Team Lotus name will mean “many battles ahead”.

Gascoyne, the team’s technical boss, told the Norfolk newspaper Eastern Daily Press that the name situation is a “slight hiccup”.

He said the team has now bought its factory in Hingham and is adding a wind tunnel.

Group Lotus, the Proton-owned sports car maker, is also based in Norfolk.

“We are here, and whatever we may be called there will be a formula one team based in Norfolk again, making racing and engineering racing cars, which I think is great for Norfolk and is a sense of pride for me as a Norfolk lad,” said Gascoyne.

“I just can’t quite understand why Group Lotus wouldn’t want it to be called Lotus.”

Gascoyne said he also cannot understand Group Lotus’ alternative plan to pay millions for title sponsorship of Renault F1.

“I think when (Lotus founder) Colin Chapman brought sponsorship into F1, he thought he’d be on the receiving end — he wouldn’t be paying it out,” he smiled.

“For me, Colin Chapman was about engineering, about making and engineering racing cars.  That’s what Team Lotus did; that’s what we do here.

“It’s not about going and sponsoring a French manufacturer to put a badge on it, I find that very difficult to understand,” added Gascoyne.

Despite ‘Team Lotus’ appearing on the official 2011 entry list, he said he isn’t overly concerned about the team’s eventual identity for 2011 and beyond.

“Without getting into the politics of it, people who just want to associate a name with something is one thing, but you only build up a team by putting good people in.  That’s what we’ve been focusing on doing,” he said.

Group Lotus did not comment.

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