Friday, November 13, 2009

Malaysia's Lotus F1 looks to GLCs for cash

hehehe change the colour la..dah mcm colourland..

KUALA LUMPUR: Lotus Formula One is still seeking sponsorship to help the new Malaysian team survive in its first season in 2010 despite a tight budget.

Launched two months ago as a collaboration between the Malaysian government, who hold no equity in the team, and a trio of entrepreneurs, Lotus insisted it had the means to compete.

A team director told Malaysia's Bernama news agency the company would look to attract investors from various corporate bodies, including government-linked companies (GLCs).

"What is wrong with asking for sponsors from GLCs like Petronas?" said Kamarudin Meranun.

"If Petronas can sponsor a foreign F1 team, why should the national petroleum company not sponsor a local team?"

Malaysia's state oil company was a long-time backer of the BMW-Sauber team.

Lotus's start-up capital of around $47 million is a fraction of Ferrari's budget, estimated at between $300 and $400 million.

However, Kamarudin insisted the team had a strategy to overcome its financial restrictions despite the recent departure of Toyota and BMW, following Honda's exit last year.

Team principal Tony Fernandes's ownership of Asia's largest budget airline AirAsia would help lower the cost of moving equipment and crew members, he added.

Foreign-based Malaysian engineers would also reduce bills.

"The (team) put up an advertisement to fill 225 posts, we received over 6,500 applications," said Kamarudin. "Most of them are from Malaysian engineering experts currently working abroad.

"They are excited with the Malaysian-owned Lotus F1 Racing and are willing to work at a lower pay. This will enable us to lower the cost."

Lotus are aiming for a roll out of the new car in mid-February to test it before the season opener in Bahrain in March.

News From Times Of India

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