While the reasoning behind this decision have been kept aside from the media in recent weeks – after all, why invest in another F1 team if you already have a squad using your name and benefiting from your financial backing, right? – former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is an adviser to Proton, finally revealed some of the things that stood behind Proton's move.
According to Mohamad, the name of Lotus should be synonymous to success in Formula One, and that was hardly the case in 2010. Consequently, the Malaysian company shifted focus on an organization capable of delivering the wanted results for Group Lotus in F1, and the Enstone team was clearly the best available choice.
“There are some reasons why Proton is not happy with giving the name to Team Lotus as their performance is also not good,” the former Malaysian PM was quoted as saying to the Malaysian Star.
“People reflect the performance on Lotus itself, so we have to find a way to be more successful. And I think teaming up with Renault is very good because Renault has done very well - even becoming champions.”
Group Lotus became major equity partner in the new Lotus Renault F1 Team after it purchased a big part in the Enstone organization. The deal was signed for a minimum of 7 years, with Group Lotus recently hinting that increasing its share in the team could happen in the future.