Team Lotus to announce title sponsor, change name - sources

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apr.27 (GMM) Team Lotus looks set to secure a major new sponsor and undergo a name change.

Multiple media sources are now confirming reports that team boss Tony Fernandes has bought the specialist British sports car marque Caterham Cars.

And other reports say Fernandes has also secured a title sponsor, the Angolan state oil company Sonangol.

Sonangol backs the team's test driver Ricardo Teixeira.

All the news is set to be confirmed on Wednesday as the T128 car is tested on the Duxford runway. Teixeira will be present, as will Lotus' other test drivers as well as Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.

The Dutch website f1today.nl reports that Team Lotus has registered new internet domains including sonangolcaterhamf1.com and sonangolcaterhamteamlotus.com.

It could be a neat way for Fernandes to emerge independently from the bitter F1 naming dispute with Group Lotus.

"Team Lotus is a platform to promote Caterham," Fernandes told Autocar on Wednesday, adding that the brand and F1 is a "natural fit".

"I always wanted to use F1 to get into a road car business. We had hoped it would be Lotus, but that went horribly wrong. I looked at other options and Caterham jumped out," he added.


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