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No government equity in Lotus project

NEWS STORY
26/09/2009

Local media reports that the Malaysia government will not have any equity in the Malaysia-based Lotus team scheduled to enter F1 next season.

Earlier this month, the FIA confirmed that a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs - 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn Bhd - would see the return of Lotus to the F1 grid in 2010, having won the 13th slot on the grid.

While the team will be initially based in Norfolk, 10 miles from the Lotus Cars factory, it future design, R&D, manufacturing and technical centre will be located at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit.

However, in a brief statement team boss Tony Fernandes insists that funding for 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn Bhd will come from private investors and that the Malaysia will hold no equity in the team.

"Other countries have been bidding hard for this spot but Malaysia, through our concerted effort and strength in the true spirit of 1Malaysia, managed to pull it through," said Fernandes.

"This will be an excellent opportunity for Malaysian corporates to share this dream that has finally come through.

"Having been involved in Formula One, we are very excited at Malaysia owning a Formula One team and the amazing benefits it will bring the country."

It's expected that with an annual budget of £55.5m, private investors should be able to provide around £30m with the rest coming from sponsorship.

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