Lotus Racing technical boss Mike Gascoyne says he remains confused by Group Lotus' unwillingness to work with his team in Formula 1.
Gascoyne and Tony Fernandes' team could well have to run under a different name in 2011, as the Lotus car company withdrew the squad's license to use the Lotus Racing name and is disputing its right to use Team Lotus instead. Group Lotus also looks set to start its own F1 partnership with the Renault team.
With the situation still unresolved, Gascoyne argued that his Lotus team had proven that it could successfully represent the brand in F1.
"At the end of the day, we brought the Lotus name back into Formula 1, we've done a great job," Gascoyne said in an interview with BBC radio. "We don't really understand why Group Lotus doesn't want to support us in doing that job for them. We've brought great value to the brand and the shareholders invested something like £80 million [$128m] into the brand and the development of the team, and we're a little bit failing to understand why Group Lotus seems to want to try to kick us out.
"That's not in my hands – my job doesn't change with the name and it's the same for all the engineering staff. But I think it's a great shame that there is this thing for everyone in Norfolk, because we're a Norfolk-based team, we brought the Lotus name back into Formula 1 and did it proud and we don't quite understand why we don't have the support of Group Lotus in that."
Gascoyne also declared himself "perplexed" by Group Lotus' wider motorsports strategy, which now includes joining IndyCar in 2012 as an engine and aero kit supplier, partnering with ART in GP2 and GP3, and a substantial expansion of the company's sports car racing program, including creating an LMP2 car.
"They seem to have announced that they're going to join every racing series around the world, and the only question is who's going to pay for it?" said Gascoyne. "Because they seem to want to do every racing series that there is, and for a loss-making car company, that seems to be slightly perplexing. But if that's what they want to do, good luck to them."
He added that despite the naming dispute, the current Lotus F1 team was very much on schedule with its 2011 preparations.
"We'll be firing the car up on Jan. 25 in readiness for the first test in February," said Gascoyne. "We've had lots of exciting announcements with Renault supplying us with engines, Red Bull Technologies supplying us with gearboxes and our own wind tunnel developing, so it wasn't just about 10th in the championship this year, it was about building the team up so that we move solidly into the midfield next year. Those announcements are all very much part of that and we're bang on schedule."