Q. The traditional colors of Lotus have been green and yellow, and all your motor racing activities outside of F1 next year will be in those colors. Can you explain why in F1 you will be black and gold then? Would it not have been better to have all the racing activities with the same brand?
DB: We will have all the activities at the Birmingham [motorsport] show and we will be showing all this project alive there. We decided to differentiate F1 and all the motorsport activities because F1 is something special and we would like to give it a special looking and feel.
Q. The black and gold colors hark back to the famous John Player Special sponsorship of the past. Are you not worried about criticisms you are actually advertising tobacco, or could be linked with that?
DB: I don't think we are using the kind of logos that the John Player Special cars used. I simply believe, and again this is my personal opinion, I believe this is one of the two most beautiful liveries in Formula 1. This is why we will use it, and nothing else. I do not believe we will have any negative implications with potential tobacco advertising.
Q. You have said you don't want to be Team Lotus, but you also said in your press release last week that 'We are Lotus and we are back.' Is that not a contradiction?
DB: What I meant by this was that under Colin Chapman, he had a business. It was divided into two areas – a racing business and a car business. One area was here to finance the other business. They were not separate from each other, and it was not intended to be separate although maybe from a former point of view, you are right that there were two separate entities but still under one guidance and one owner.
What we meant by saying Lotus is back is that we see Lotus as just one brand – it is the car manufacturer. There is no other car that has been called Lotus out there, so Lotus the car manufacturer is back, which is supposed to be in the group of companies that Mr. Chapman owned. So we see it as one. We never did the distinction of this is Team Lotus as completely separate from the road cars. We don't see it that way. We believe it is one car, one brand, one company. It was just supposed to be split in a formal way, but nothing else.
Q. You have also said RIP to Team Lotus. So will you be disappointed if there is a Team Lotus on the grid next season, and are you surprised Tony Fernandes is pursuing the route he is going?
DB: No. I cannot comment for Mr. Fernandes, but if he believes he has all the legal grounds to own this brand, then he should use it. I don't believe we are fighting this. What we are 100 percent certain of is that we own the brand that is called Lotus, which is associated with the car manufacturer. And that Lotus brand has the right to enter in any sports activity. And if any chassis will be called a Lotus then it is our chassis, and no one else's.
We don't claim to have the name Team Lotus or to use the name Team Lotus. That is not what it is all about. We just don't want other people to call their car a Lotus because the Lotus car is our brand and that is all.
Q. Tony Fernandes said last weekend that the ideal solution for him would have been a tie-up with Group Lotus. Would that have been your best route, too, if the price had been right?
DB: Yes, I think so. If the price had been right and if some conditions would have been more realistic, then I believe this would have been the right approach. We were not afraid of partnering with Mr. Fernandes, but as I said, there is one way that Lotus does business – and this is getting involved and not just putting the logo on the car.
We need to be involved in the management. We need to take decisions together. We need to fund it together as well, which is fine, but it cannot just be that we are seen as a sponsor, we pay the check and everything else is run by someone else. That is something that we will never do. And even if it is a public perception, it will never happen.
But, as I said before, if we have to take a detour for one year or two years in order to reach control, then we will take this into consideration as long as our brand is respectfully presented and we have the maximum benefits of it for our support and sales. But it was not just the price; there were many elements that meant we could not find the deal.