Fernandes rejects out of court settlement
Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has rejected a $10 million offer to settle the ongoing naming dispute over who has the right to use the Lotus name. Speaking to AFP Fernandes said “It was £6 million for an out of court settlement. Of course I would like to end it but the proposal by Proton would have bankrupted the company. We could not accept it." If Fernandes had accepted the offer, then it would have seen the loss of 250 jobs as well as put substantial investments by shareholders at risk. "We never created the situation.” Fernandes continued “We had a five-year agreement. Proton thought they can bully us out. We honestly worked hard to revive the Lotus name in F1." The court hearing for the ongoing name row is scheduled for the 21st March, which two teams will line up on the grid at the first race of the season under the ‘Lotus’ name, after the recent tie-up between Group Lotus and the Renault F1 team. Fernandes finished by saying that he hopes the dispute will be end soon as "the legal row does not help. That's for sure."