(Picture credit to Anthony)
The dispute over the Lotus name in Formula 1 has taken another turn as Team Lotus has lost the support of the name’s previous owner David Hunt.According to the Telegraph, that the two parties are at odds with each other over payments for the Team Lotus name which was supposedly purchased last year by Tony Fernandes. The owner of the Team Lotus name is David Hunt, brother of the late James Hunt, and he has shared some scathing comments with the Telegraph Sport.Read the full news by Tom Cary from The Telegraph below.
TEAM LOTUS CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT WITH TONY FERNANDES AND DAVID HUNT LOCKED IN DISPUTE OVER PAYMENT FOR NAME
It has been dubbed one of the most ludicrous, not to mention confusing quarrels in Formula One history. And it is up against some pretty stiff competition.
Barring an 11th hour settlement, the High Court battle between British car manufacturer Group Lotus, sponsors of the Renault F1 team, and rival outfit Team Lotus will commence onm Monday to determine who has the right to use the brand in Formula One.
However, Telegraph Sport has learned that an equally fierce fight is taking place behind the scenes which potentially threatens the outcome of that trial.
It has emerged that Tony Fernandes, the team principal of Team Lotus, is locked in a bitter dispute with supposed ally David Hunt, brother of former world champion James Hunt and the man who bought the Team Lotus name from the administrator when the outfit was wound up in 1994.
The dispute centres around Hunt’s claims that Fernandes has gone back on an agreement the pair struck in January over payment for the Team Lotus name.
The revelation will surprise fans who were under the impression that Fernandes had already paid for the marque. It will also surprise those who believed that he and Hunt enjoyed a cosy relationship. Fernandes told his Twitter followers in January that Hunt was “the most honourable man” in the whole Lotus v Lotus dispute.
Their relationship has now been exposed as decidedly fractious with Fernandes having allegedly instructed his lawyers to sue Hunt for defamation in the past week.
Hunt is currently refusing to assist Team Lotus in court, despite having agreed to do so in January. He is also claiming that he has seen “potentially some serious holes” in their case.
“When we had to make the Team Lotus staff redundant in 1995 I made a promise to them and the fans to return it to F1 in the hands of a worthy custodian, and initially I had high hopes that Tony, Din and Nasa [his business partners] were going to tick the boxes,” Hunt told Telegraph Sport.
“What angers me is that I have, in good faith, worked extremely hard on the build-up to the hearing because I believed Tony would honour our January agreement.
“He’s apparently “changed his mind” at the 11th hour, by his own admission, now that I’ve done so much work on his company’s behalf, and he’s trying to renegotiate by offering new terms which are, frankly, ludicrous.
“All I’m looking for is for Tony to stick to his word and honour our agreement. If he doesn’t, then regrettably I don’t see why I should continue to provide assistance and this trial won’t be the last battle he’s facing, even if he wins.”
Team Lotus were unavailable for comment on Sunday night.