Lotus deal “a dream come true” – Caterham boss

2011 F1 season

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham Seven, Duxford, 2011

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham Seven, Duxford, 2011

Caterham managing director Anser Ali says his company’s deal with Lotus is a “dream come true”.

Speaking to F1 Fanatic during the announcement of the deal yesterday Ali said: “It’s unbelievably special, to the point where I keep using the word ‘surreal’.

“It’s a dream come true for me, as someone who’s got a huge responsibility for over a hundred people at Caterham, and millions of enthusiasts and customers who follow everything that we do. I’d like to think – and I’m fairly certain – they are fully supportive of what we’re doing.

“It’s a natural progression, it’s an obvious one in my mind. But what was important for me is having met Tony and, now, having spent a lot of time with him, his passion is not too dissimilar to mine. He understands what the brand is about, he understands the philosophy and, more importantly, he wants to build on that and not compromise it in any way.”

Asked how long getting into F1 had been a goal of his he said: “I have to confess it hadn’t been!

“That’s why this is quite a dream. To say it’s an added bonus, again, would be an understatement.

“I was looking more at the man of Tony Fernandes, as a passionate enthusiast of any business that he gets behind, rather than Formula 1. That might come across as somewhat short-sighted, but the fact that Formula 1 comes in tow is quite surreal.”

He added they plan to incorporate the Caterham branding on the Lotus F1 cars: “I think going forward that is certainly on the cards.

“Clearly there are some sensitivities around that but there’s no doubt being able to leverage the Caterham brand off the Formula 1 platform, and the global audience it has, is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

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25 comments on Lotus deal “a dream come true” – Caterham boss

  1. Shouldn’t that read “Team Lotus” instead of “Lotus”? :D

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 28th April 2011, 17:27

      Who’s Team Lotus?

      • That link explains your reasoning for using “Lotus” when talking about the F1 manufacturer and i agree with that.

        But this is about a company called “Team Lotus Enterprise” buying the car manufacturer Caterham and therefore it’s a bit confusing if u stick to that naming convention. Outside of F1, “Lotus” refers to Lotus Cars (or the bakery, i’ll give you that) and i find it hard to believe Anser Ali really used that name when talking to you.

        Then again, i could as well be totally wrong about that. :D

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th April 2011, 11:03

          Outside of F1

          In case you hadn’t noticed, the name of this site is F1 Fanatic…

          • So? Will you refer to Bahar’s new cars as Renault’s, then?

            It’s your site, you can do whatever you like – i just wanted to say that _i_ think this adds to the confusion around Lotus. My bad.

  2. Scribe (@scribe) said on 28th April 2011, 17:37

    Yeah but he would say that wouldn’t he?

    ;)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th April 2011, 10:39

      But then again why shouldn’t he!

      Fernandes is a good deal maker and knows how to get the most out of a team. And he has finance at his disposal and knows the asian markets. Combine that with a passion for motorsport and plans for ground roots initiatives in India it looks very good for Caterham.

      The link with Team Lotus feels good as well for a company doing a refined good old Lotus 7. I think Caterham can grow on this deal a lot and expand their product worldwide. In time they might get an Elise out to conquer further part of the market Lotus Cars is leaving behind.

      And getting Caterham on the F1 track would not be too bad as well. Nothing like a bit of F1 VIP treatment to get bigwigs interested in a nice deal, I would think!

  3. Oliver said on 28th April 2011, 18:20

    I don’t understand, is he trying to say he has been dreaming of Tony?

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th April 2011, 18:38

    It’s some major exposure for a relatively small company. I bet Caterham’s staff will have their heads in the clouds when they see at least a logo on the side of an F1 car!

  5. Now that Virgin has the Marussia tie, who are HRT going to pair up with? SEAT?

  6. Tracy said on 28th April 2011, 21:09

    Now Lotus just needs to come in 4th in the constructor’s championship so they can have the #7 car.

  7. IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 30th April 2011, 19:25

    Wow, is it just me or does Anser Ali come across as some rube with a piece of straw in his mouth? Actually, he sounds like someone that was ecstatic about another fool buying his joke car company (why?) and bailing him out. Or is the world just about who has the most toys?

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