26 Dec 2010

Chapman family backs car maker in Lotus F1 row

6:54 am on 26 December 2010

The family of the late Lotus founder Colin Chapman has sided with Malaysian-owned sportscar maker Group Lotus in a row over use of the marque in Formula One.

Clive Chapman, whose father's cars won races and championships from the 1960s till the 1980s, opposes plans by the Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes to revive the Team Lotus name next season.

Fernandes entered Formula One this year with Lotus Racing, a new team competing with a licence from Lotus Group and their owners Proton.

Clive Chapman says his family supported Lotus Racing only while the team had the support of the Malaysian carmaker and Proton's now in a long-term partnership with the Renault team, which will be renamed Lotus Renault GP next year.

In the meantime Fernandes has triggered several legal actions after buying the rights to the Team Lotus name from David Hunt, brother of the late world champion James.