Lotus Boss Reveals Failed Negotiations with Tony Fernandes

Group Lotus did fancy a tie-up with Tony Fernandes' team in Formula One, but the conditions of such a deal were totally unacceptable for the British sportscar maker. This is what the company's CEO Dany Bahar revealed to the press during a Lotus media lunch at the RAC club in London, ending speculation that Group Lotus wanted nothing to hear of a collaboration with the Norfolk based organization.

Shortly after Group Lotus announced their partnership with Genii Capital for the formation of the new Lotus Renault F1 Team, the management of Team Lotus (controlled by Tony Fernandes) stroke back in the media. The team's technical officer Mike Gascoyne said he doesn't understand why Lotus chose to sign another partnership in F1 since the name of Lotus was already present through his team, while Fernandes insisted he will not change the name of his team for the 2011 season.

But Bahar now revealed Group Lotus did actually contacted Fernandes' team for a potential tie-up, yet the financial conditions imposed by the latter were simply unbearable. Additionally, as soon as the Renault solution became available, a decision was easy to take, considering that it cost Lotus one third of the price asked by Fernandes.

A question that has come up many times was why did you not find an amicable solution with Tony Fernandes? Well we tried,” revealed Bahar at the aforementioned event, according to Autosport.

Let me just say when the counter proposals are so ridiculous and absurd, it makes no sense to continue these discussions. And if you can go with a top five team that is maybe one third of the cost that was asked by the other side, then that makes sense.”

More, the tie-up with Renault gave Group Lotus the chance to become involved in the management process of an F1 team, something that wasn't quite possible at Team Lotus. Other things that were taken into account were the superior technical package and base of the Enstone squad, as well as the well-designed long-term plan for the future.
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