Fernandes: No decision on team name

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes says he has no immediate plans to rebrand his F1 outfit as Caterham, despite buying the car company and revealing he will rename his GP2 squad

Fernandes: No decision on team name

The Hingham-based outfit confirmed the purchase of Caterham during an event at the Duxford Airfield on Wednesday, but gave no further details about rumoured plans to rename the squad.

The link-up with Caterham was believed to be an option for the future brand name for the outfit, if it opts to move away from 'Team Lotus' as a result of its dispute with Group Lotus.

Fernandes said, however, that there was no decision on the team's name yet, and that he is hoping both Caterham and Lotus can stay together.

"I don't know yet, to be honest," Fernandes told AUTOSPORT about a possible rebranding of the team. "I am waiting to see what happens with the case, and all these sort of things. But an ideal scenario would be a marriage of the two.

"The ideal world is both. People have said that Lotus has its own F1 team, but so what? There is Manchester United and Manchester City.

"People will come to understand what each brand stands for, and say - we want this, or we want that. It is no different to me, and I really hope we can keep both."

Fernandes, who tried to establish a link-up with Group Lotus for his F1 team, said the Caterham route now looked easier and more attractive.

"Obviously we thought Group Lotus was an unpolished diamonds in many ways, and with an F1 team we could have done many things together," he said.

"That didn't transpire but it is funny how in life if you go down one road, it gets blocked heavily, and so you switch to another road. But then, in fact, the other road looks a lot nicer.

"I believe that if you are doing things well, you give it the right attention and you have the right people, luck will find a way for you. And certainly, fortune favoured the brave here - and if I was to redo things, I would have much rather gone down this route to be honest.

"It is a simpler, easier one. It is a profitable business, it doesn't require lots and lots of capital and the F1 teams adds a lot to it to grow the business. Without sounding like a cliche, it is a marriage made in heaven in many shapes and forms."

He denied he was buying Caterham because he suspects he will lose the court case.

"Many people are saying, are you doing this because you are going to lose Team Lotus? That is not the case."

Fernandes also confirmed his GP2 team, currently named AirAsia, is going to undergo a name change if the regulations allow it.

The GP2 season starts next week in Turkey.

"I can confirm pretty clearly that there will be a Caterham GP2 Team," he said. "I have to check with the regulations, rename the team 'Caterham' and AirAsia will become a sponsor.

"So AirAsia Caterham. You've asked me that, and that is my immediate reaction. But when we do it and how we do it, I don't know yet."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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