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Whitmarsh: Name change vote on hold

NEWS STORY
08/10/2011

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that a fax vote on plans for Team Lotus and Lotus Renault Grand Prix to change their names has been put on hold.

Members of the Formula One commission were due to hold the vote in order that both teams could go into the 2012 season with their new names, hopefully ending the confusion that has surrounded the issue.

However, Whitmarsh has revealed that while most teams were happy to go ahead with the vote, a couple, thought to include Ferrari, together with a number of promoters and others aren't.

"There was a decision to call a fax vote of the Formula One commission and those votes were going in, the teams were supporting the name change," he told Reuters. "But I think some promoters and others were showing some concern, it was decided yesterday that perhaps rather than try and just push it through on a fax vote there should be a discussion with everyone so they understood what was happening."

Tony Fernandes Team Lotus, which entered F1 in 2010 as Lotus Racing, plans to become Caterham, after the Malaysian businessman and his partners purchased the car manufacturer earlier this year.

Lotus Renault Grand Prix, which started life as Toleman, became Benetton and was then bought by Renault is to become Lotus, Malaysia's Group Lotus a major backer of the team.

"Name changes aren't something that should be encouraged," said Whitmarsh, "but if you've got two Lotus names in Formula One it strikes me that isn't desirable, it's not what people really need or want in the sport. I think we need to find a way where everyone is happy to have one Lotus team."

It's understood that Bernie Ecclestone is keen to arrange a meeting of the teams after the Indian Grand Prix in order that the issue can be settled once and for all.

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