Feb 04

Fernandes turned down $10m Lotus settlement offer

“It’s petty,” – Fernandes

2010-07-11 - Lotus F1 Racing - Tony Fernandes2011-02-02 - Valencia - Team Lotus 0007Tony Fernandes has revealed for the first time that Group Lotus has offered to settle the F1 naming dispute out of court. The parties are fighting over Fernandes’ right to use the ‘Team Lotus’ name he bought from David Hunt for his Hingham based team in 2011.

Group Lotus terminated a license for Fernandes’ team to use ‘Lotus Racing’ last year, before the famous Proton-owned sports car maker decided to enter F1 as title sponsor to Renault.

“I considered doing a deal, but the one they offered me would have bankrupted us,” Malaysian Fernandes, whose team is testing privately at Valencia on Friday, is quoted by the Norwich Advertiser.

It is reported elsewhere that the deal offered was less than US $10m.

Instead, the saga has descended into a ‘he said, she said’ tit-for-tat, with fans now facing the prospect of two Lotus teams on the grid this year before a High Court ruling.

“It’s petty,” agreed Fernandes.

“I think we should all grow up and let the courts decide, and at the end of the day we honour the courts.

“I said I didn’t want to say anything any more, but they keep making statements.  I can’t just say silent.”

source: GMM