ART-Lotus, part II
September 22, 2010 4 Comments
OK, here is what I can begin to piece together.
1. Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering (a consultancy) are the road car company owned by Proton of Malaysia.
2. Lotus Racing is the F1 team launched this year by Tony Fernandes (also of Malaysia)
3. Team Lotus is the old F1 brand purchased by David Hunt (just the brand)
– The agreement with ART for GP2 and GP3 is with the Lotus Cars company – thus the engineering and technical support bit – acting as a consultant to the French team
– Lotus Racing has just purchased the Team Lotus brand and will race following the tradition of the team Colin Chapman made great
-Lotus Racing and Lotus cars share the same logo and colors for now, where I assume there is an agreement, licensing deal or similar
-Mofaz Racing, the WSR team owned by the Fauzy family, runs with the Lotus colors and has an agreement with Lotus Racing (Fernandes), and has created the Lotus Junior Team in this series
– But, that livery is shared by Takuma Sato in The IndyCar Series, BUT, the KV Racing livery deal is with Lotus Cars NOT Lotus Racing
Power struggle between Lotus Cars (Proton/Malaysia) and Lotus Racing/Team Lotus (Tony Fernandes). ART will show up with a green/yellow Lotus livery as early as GP2 Asia, if we interpret Vasseur’s comments correctly. Thus, the Team Air Asia just granted a GP2 license will be an Air Asia branded team, unless a different agreement is reached.
What does this mean? Basically, Lotus Cars is setting up an umbrella group of contacts in IndyCar, GP2, GP3 and maybe others. Lotus Racing/Team Lotus has F1 and the WSR licensing with Fauzy. My take is that Lotus Cars is pushing the Fernandes team away, and will ultimately make an F1 push with the very solid ART structure. Lotus Racing, and the Fernandes fascination with the brand, will probably have to make a very strong case for itself, or take the much fabled Team Lotus brand and image in another direction.