‘Lotus’ name saga had continued for a while and at the ultimatum it came like ‘Lotus’ was the name of the team that is now called Caterham. Renault declared Redbull team as their eminent team. Which meant, the formerly known as Renault team became Team Lotus under Genii capital ownership. Tony Fernandes bought Caterham company – Group Lotus retrieved their naming license from him, thus it became Caterham F1 Team.
Group Lotus led by Proton draining up all their money. Genii capital announced the contract termination today. Although new Proton owners DRB-Hicom yet to decide the future of ‘Group Lotus’, there were speculations that Genii Capital could put some money in the supercar firm, but having more debts around the market would impede that too. Lopez has interest in the acquiring, he said that in february.
“We don’t know yet, because we really do not know what the new owner wants to do with it,” Genii owner Gerard Lopez .
The good thing is the Lotus F1 owners are happy to keep up the iconic name in the sport. Seven years deal worth 100 million Euros with an option of Group Lotus buying half of the team was finally ended. Lotus said they will retain their current name for at least another five years.
“The sponsorship agreement and the obligations of Lotus have been terminated,” Genii owner Gerard Lopez .
“There is no option from Group Lotus to buy into F1 now – that option was taken over by us. There was one, but we have taken it over now.
“We are happy to carry the Lotus name as we believe it is a good name for F1. We funded the team last year and the year before for whatever delta was missing
“We would prefer to have sponsors up to the full amount – but if we have to fund it then we will fund it.
Lopez admitted that the team was wide open to title sponsorship when it rebranded its name and new title sponsorship would bring in some lump amount.
“When we changed the name from Lotus Renault to Lotus [for this year] it opened up the door for a title sponsor. So if you take into account the fact we signed Unilever, probably the biggest sponsorship agreement this year in F1, and we signed Microsoft, which is huge news as it is a brand that has never been in F1 before, we have a wide space for sponsorship.
“If we sign a title sponsor now, we will end up with a better cash flow situation than this team ever had before.”