Although the requested name change by his F1 team from Lotus Racing to Team Lotus has been accepted by the FIA for 2011, Tony Fernandes admitted on his Twitter feed that his decision to defy the opposition of Group Lotus in his use of the name will mean "many battles ahead."
The team formerly known as Lotus Racing is upgrading its facilities at its Hingham, UK base, including the installation of a wind tunnel, and despite the worries of his boss, team principal Mike Gascoyne (LEFT), said in an interview with British newspaper Eastern Daily Press that the name situation only represented a "slight hiccup" in the team's plans. He also took the opportunity to once again criticize the management of Group Lotus – the owner of Lotus Cars, which also is based in Britain's Norfolk region – over its opposition to Fernandes' program and its own rumored plans to buy into the Renault F1 team and rename it.
"We are here, and whatever we may be called there will be a Formula 1 team based in Norfolk again, making and engineering racing cars – which I think is great for Norfolk and is a sense of pride for me as a Norfolk lad," said Gascoyne. "I just can't quite understand why Group Lotus wouldn't want it to be called Lotus."
Gascoyne added that he thought the plan of Group Lotus to sponsor Renault ran counter to the ideals of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
"I think when Colin Chapman brought sponsorship into F1, he thought he'd be on the receiving end – he wouldn't be paying it out," he said. "For me, Colin Chapman was about engineering, about making and engineering racing cars. That's what Team Lotus did; that's what we do here. It's not about going and sponsoring a French manufacturer to put a badge on it. I find that very difficult to understand."