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Bahar: Lotus row can avoid court

Dany BaharGroup Lotus is confident that its naming dispute with Team Lotus will be settled before it hits the courts later this year.

The British sportscar manufacturer is at the centre of a legal row with Team Lotus over its rival's right to use the name, plus the termination of a deal the outfit had to run as Lotus Racing last season.

The arguments have overshadowed Group Lotus' title sponsorship deal with Renault - and neither side has shown any sign of backing down over the matter.

Unless a settlement is reached, the case will hit the courts in the early summer - although Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is upbeat that the situation can be sorted out before that.

"I don't think it will be a matter solved by English courts," Bahar said in an interview with the BBC. "I think it will be solved before that. But if we have to go the legal way, we will - and our shareholders will support that."

Bahar has reiterated that he never set out to end Group Lotus's tie-up with Fernandes when he originally joined the company, but instead claims the two parties had to go their own way because they had different visions for the future.

"When I arrived with a new management team, we had our own ideas and plans and that's nobody's fault, not the shareholders' and not Mr Fernandes' fault," he said. "We have a crystal clear vision of where we want to go in future.

"I think with any business relationship, you start on good terms and if it turns out to be beneficial for both parties, you continue. If not, you just stop - it's like in a marriage. And this one turned out to be an unsuccessful relationship."

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