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Genii Capital who finances the Lotus F1 Team will remove its sponsorship with Group Lotus the sports car company due to financial problems with Group Lotus. It has not been paying its full fee to the Lotus F1 Team to remain the team's title sponsor.
Proton who owns Group Lotus was recently privitized by the Malaysian government and purchased by a Malaysian billionaire that brought up the high probability of Group Lotus being sold. Genii Capital also declined an option in its contract with Proton for use the Lotus name that Proton could buy 50% of the Formula 1 team.
"The sponsorship agreement and the obligations of Lotus have been terminated. There is no option from Group Lotus to buy into F1 now - that option was taken over by us. There was one, but we have taken it over now" said Gerard Lopez, owner of Genii Capital.
Currently, it appears that the Lotus F1 Team will keep Lotus sponsorship for the rest of the season. The team has signed sponsorships with Unilever and Microsoft but will have to find a new title sponsor.
"If we sign a title sponsor now, we will end up with a better cash flow situation than this team ever had before," said Lopez.
Lotus has been trying to restructure itself to be able to sell 8,000 cars a year by 2014 compared to fewer than 2,000 in 2011. There had been speculation that Genii Capital would buy Group Lotus, but if it is pulling Lotus' sponsorship from the car; it probably will not be buying them. The privatization of Proton will not be finished until the second quarter of 2012, which is when Group Lotus could go up for sale. No word on how this will affect the Lotus-sponsored LMP2 coupe racing at Le Mans.
V 8 (90º vee)
146 cu in
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost