Group Lotus' plans to buy into the Renault team have received the support of Malaysian car maker Proton.
While the creation of Lotus Renault GP will put the team directly in competition with Team Lotus next year – leaving F1 with the bizarre scenario of having two black-and-gold Lotus Renault teams in 2011 – Proton says it is fully behind the plans for Lotus to become a title sponsor and shareholder in Renault.
Dato' Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, chairman of Proton that owns a majority shareholding in Group Lotus, said: "We know that Group Lotus has much to offer Formula 1 and vice versa. After careful consideration, we believe this arrangement will be fruitful, both from a commercial and marketing point of view."
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Proton advisor and former Prime Minister of Malaysia, said: "This is an exciting development which delivers strategic benefits to both Group Lotus and Proton. I fully support the partnership."