Lotus Official Ashamed of Petronas for Mercedes Deal

With one of the major players on the oil market worldwide joining Mercedes Grand Prix for the 2010 season of Formula One, its quite easy to assume that the Brackley based team will not suffer from a budget point of view to develop their F1 challenger within the next 12 months. However, the move did make some people extremely unhappy, particularly Lotus F1 Racing.

Long story short: Lotus went to Petronas (since this is the company we're talking about) and tried to ink a partnership for the 2010 season of F1, especially since the company's partner Sauber F1 Team was yet to safeguard itself from bankruptcy. Shortly after, it emerged that Petronas would stick with Peter Sauber's team for better or worst, leaving their fellow Malaysians look elsewhere for sponsors.

Last week, a report from Petronas official hinted that the company would also leave Sauber F1 Team and remain committed only to their title sponsorship of the Malaysian Grand Prix. A few days later, which is today, the company was announced as new title sponsor for Mercedes-Benz' F1 operations, leaving their fellow countrymen from Lotus open-mouthed.

Talking about Petronas' decision to turn their back on a Malaysian team in order to back the German constructor in the Great Circle, Lotus F1's head of driver development Alex Yoong – former Grand Prix racer with Minardi Team back in 2001/02 – admitted his huge disappointment and “shame” in the move.

Words fail me. Mercedes (is) a good team, no doubt, but what Lotus is doing is completely ground breaking and brave and Petronas not seeing that fills me with shame,” wrote 33-year old Yoong on his twitter page.

Although confirming all its drivers for the 2010 season, the Malaysian team is yet to announce a major sponsorship for their debut campaign in the series.
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