Lotus fires the man behind the Name Fiasco
In case you’re in the dark, in 2010, a new Formula One team entered the sport under the name Lotus Racing. Dany Bahar made the sponsorship deal which gave the team, lead by Tony Fernandes, the rights to use the name of the car manufacturer. However, when it turned out Lotus was hopelessly outmatched by everyone except the two other new teams introduced that year (Hispania Racing Team and Virgin), Bahar began to have the name rights moved to Renault instead.
Tony Fernades apparently took that the wrong way and instead bought the name rights to the “Lotus F1 Team” from the prior owner of the name. This finally erupted into a full court-case in 2011 as Lotus tried to take the name rights away from Fernandes. Finally, the court decided that Lotus could use the name until the end of the 2011 season after which Renault could change its name to the Lotus. Fernandes then changed the name of his own team to Caterham.
As a final nail to the Lotus-name fiasco, Lotus Cars actually liquidated their sponsorship contract with Renault earlier this year, so while the car on track carries the company’s name, the car-manufacturer Lotus has no official affiliation with the F1 Team. Bahar specifically began the clumsy sponsorship move and the litigation process when the angered Fernandes bought the team-name rights.
Bahar was fired due to complaints over his conduct and I can imagine why no-one would want to work with an ass-hat like him, who can’t even handle a simple issue of using a brand-name in the sport. Mind you, I think it was stupid of Fernandes to buy the Lotus name rights just to spite Lotus Cars, but Bahar clearly was the main culprit since he’s the one who couldn’t find a reasonable solution out of the whole mess.
Prior blogs related to this:
- -Two Lotuses!?-
- Two Lotuses – Now a Reality?
- Two Lotuses – Name Hoopla to be resolved in August
- Lotus Name Dispute and Kubica’s Recovery
- Team Lotus No More