Lopez: Team Lotus fight is about FOM money

Lotus Renault GP chairman and Genii boss Gerard Lopez has expressed his frustration about the fight over the Lotus name – and he says Team Lotus is holding out because a change of constructor name could cost it millions in payments from the Formula One organisation.

“I think it’s a shame, and it’s a shame for the brand also,” said Lopez in Valencia. “I’m actually a big fan of the brand. What I don’t like and I dealt with the press for many years, not only in F1 but also in business, you’ve got to call a spade a spade. I can tell when somebody is trying to twist things.

“It’s a shame because we’ve never twisted things in any form or fashion, we’ve just said that we have a partnership, Lotus is a straight car company. They want to promote their brand, and honestly there’s only one Lotus car company. Anything else is a bunch of BS.

“I am aware of the negotiations that took place, and I know that money is essentially the centre piece of this. It’s not passion, it’s not taking over Colin Chapman’s legacy or whatever. It’s a fact that if 1Malaysia Racing changes their name, they lose their FOM money. And yeah, it’s an issue for them, and it’s probably one I wouldn’t take too kindly too if I was in their shoes. Obviously I would be fighting. But just admit to the reality, it’s nothing else.”

He also cited the example of the announcement of a black and gold colourscheme by Team Lotus, which came after Lotus and Renault had begun pursuing the same idea.

“Playing things like who came up with the black and gold – and at the end of the day we don’t do the same games. If I had a Twitter account I could have emailed everybody and said here’s proof that we communicated with a bunch of agencies in black and gold in August, before anybody said anything. We just don’t want to enter that kind of stuff. The Chapman family kinda likes what we’re doing, not for better or worse or whatever, because at the end of the day we’re not trying to be any sort of legacy or link to Mr Chapman. This a completely different team.”

19 Comments

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19 responses to “Lopez: Team Lotus fight is about FOM money

  1. Peter G

    Honestly..Who cares ? Its not a real LOTUS ..Its a RENAULT.

    Sure Team Lotus isn’t a real LOTUS either. Pity that Fernandes didn’t call his car AIR ASIA in the first place and be done with it.

  2. Christopher Foxon

    About some some of the “BS” was removed from this argument. These things usually always come down to money

  3. Kevin Kinsella

    Gerard Eric and co are really starting to piss me off… last year i thought the Kimi affair was very badly handled…
    I dont think they relise a true F1 fan can see through this SH1TE

    Go Team Lotus !!! shame on you Proton for backing out of the lotus racing deal.
    Group Lotus will be up for sale within 2 years. absolute disaster waiting to happen. Chapman split to company for a reason.. group lotus failing may inturn take down (TolemanAKA Bennetton AKA Renualt)

  4. Anonymous

    Wt a bullshits coming out from Genii……….they shld be a shame for carrying the tile of Lotus instead of constructor!! And obviously Lotus did’nt own any share of Renault F1 !! I think they ‘re the one who struggling for money…not Team Lotus…Tony bought the right from David Hunt Legally….! They just afraid of losing and started to whining to the whole world how ashame he is toward team lotus which will nvr works on the fans aroud the world…we;re sticking with Team Lotus….simply bcoz they owned a heart that are willing to share with the fans!!! ShAME ON YOU LRGP!!!

  5. jimos

    if a spades a spade then the team is Lotus Genii Renault. Sponsor, owner, engine.

  6. John

    What a scoop – it’s over money! wow who could have ever guessed at that revelation. LOL

  7. Ago

    Whatever… isn’t it also a money issue for Lotus Group ? If they change their name from Renault to Lotus then they won’t get RF1 2010’s money… Team Lotus ? No points…. not much money (if any…) then.
    Do I miss something here ? Or is this just crap from Lotus Group ?

  8. Stone the crows

    Yeah it is about money, its been about the money for a very long time; the Chapman family want a bigger piece of the pie than they orignianlly envisaged, Team Lotus wants their money and so does Lotus-Renault, they’ll all benefit from FOM money. Gerhard Lopez isn’t running a charity either. Its shameless and disengenuous to make it sound as if the loss of money caused by a name change makes Team Lotus’ legal challenge somehow less pure than Lotus Renault.

    And if Lotus-Renault is not trying to be a legacy or a link to Colin Chapman, then why don’t they drop the whole thing?

  9. Rob

    “…and it’s probably one I wouldn’t take too kindly too if I was in their shoes. Obviously I would be fighting. ”

    No! Really? I’m surprised somebody at Genii GP would care what their team was called…

  10. F1 Kitteh

    ” It’s a fact that if 1Malaysia Racing changes their name, they lose their FOM money”

    Glad that there is no confusion that this is the RENAULT team then. Just one more question, why would a French team race under a British license then?

    • Re his quote, what he should have said is if they change the constructor name, that’s the key thing. In other words Renault to Lotus Renault in the team name is no big deal

      • F1 Kitteh

        I guess I just didn’t really take to their communications strategy with all these subliminal suggestions that this is Lotus, but never coming out and claiming so, yet never feeling proud that they are Renault either. It’s just all very bizzare. I suppose the workforce couldn’t really care less, I mean you could be building a Honda one minute and Mercedes the next ….

      • Stone the crows

        Quite, Sauber ran into this problem last year, and so they were BMW/Sauber/Ferrari, even though they had severed all ties with BMW.

  11. D

    Did he manage to say this without laughing? I can imagine him saying this and ending up with a nose 10ft long!

  12. CARSON44

    This is a petty maneuver on the part of Lotus Renault GP. This outfit is at the threshold of what could be an epic failure in both retail sales and F1 racing. They need to tread lighter. Tony Fernandes made a ligitmate deal with the Hunts, but I think he’d be better of, as said above, with AIR ASIA where he had control.

  13. Anonymous

    Dany Bahar is indeed a fool who rather throw big sum of money to sponsor the title for renault..and then get a big loan to launch the new car!! They shld use that money to launch new car….!!

  14. bem

    This whole thing is no different than two 4-year olds fighting over a toy at the playground. Some adult should step in and say “either you learn to share or i’ll take the toy away.”

  15. Laura

    Am I the only one who thinks this doesn’t make sense? Lotus Racing change their name to Team Lotus but they still get their FOM money. Change it to something else and they won’t?

    Also, if I were a long standing Renault fan, I’d be mightily pissed off by now. What about the long standing Renault reputation and record (Singapore fiasco not withstanding)? I’m not sure I’d be happy as the fan of any long established team suddenly being co-opted by another car brand, to be honest. I wasn’t particularly happy when Brawn changed to Mercedes and that was only after one year! At least Team Lotus is a brand new team (so to speak). And they’ve built a reputation of thinking of it’s fans first AKA sending it’s fanbase details of it’s new car before anyone else!

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