Lotus hit back at Sniff Petrol, Joe Saward, Caterham…

This topic contains 44 replies, has 35 voices, and was last updated by  Keith Collantine 5 years, 6 months ago.

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    I don’t get it though – why is professionalism (and humor!) so overrated? Lotus is doing the right thing here.



    shut up, so-called lotus or whatever your name is. you too, tony. i’m so sick of this. unless you’re talking to me about awesome road cars or, ahem, race wins i don’t want to hear any more.


    Keith Collantine

    @pamphlet Professionalism and humour are not mutually exclusive. I was laughing, but mainly I was laughing at them, not with them.



    Love the Sniff Petrol picture. Great site.

    Hilarious stuff by [Group] Lotus, its boardline meltdown lash-back but hilarious.

    F1 needs more press-releases like this.



    When I started reading I thought the Lotus response was quite amusing, funny but more, laughing at them than with them I think. On the other hand Richard Porter shows how to actually write something genuinely funny. Laughing out loud at my desk funny.

    We couldn’t see him but we know it was Tony Fernandes. He is like a fat fox.


    And unlike some, we don’t want to get too personal, but Joe Saward is a gaylord and he looks stupid in any kind of hat.

    Nearly had me in tears.


    That response is brilliant! As I don’t visit Sniffpetrol usually, is their tagline always “Not letting the facts get in the way of a good story since 2001″, or did they just change it because of what the press release said?

    It gets changed pretty regularly.



    That reply could have come from cracked.com. Absolutely brilliant.



    i think Group Lotus did the right thing by stating out their position, though not in usual corporate style press release. But i’m not against them taking a dig at Tony, Joe & Mike… those three really deserved the mentions there. Sniff petrol just was jus an excuse, which GP used to make this press release as for months we have seen Tony, Joe et al using such methods to undermine group lotus with mischievous blogs, twits etc. it was about time these jokers got something back.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    This probably could have come a lot sooner. Despite the dislike from fans during the court battle, Group Lotus were pretty mature about the whole thing. They never really commented on anything until the final verdict, wheres sometimes it seemed like Tony Fernandes couldn’t go a day without Twittering how righteous his team was in the matter. That’s probably the main reason why Fernandes won so many fans early on – he was running as Lotus first, and was the most successful of the newcomers. Those who were on the fence about it were problably swayed once he turned to Twitter and made himself out to be the victim.

    Sniff Petrol can be snarky, but they’re mostly harmless. They were funny to begin with, but then they started re-hashing old jokes and criticising even the tiniest details. They’re a lot like the Golden Raspberry awards – they started out funny, but then they developed an agenda – in 2002, Madonna made the atrocious Swept Away, so the organisers of the Razzies started giving her awards for whatever excuse they could find; she got “Worst Supporting Actress” for Die Another Day, even though she never actually received actor billing like Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, and had all of two lines in the film, even though elegibility for a Golden Raspberry is based on the elegibility for an Oscar. The organisers broke their own rules to prove a point (though her Razzie for Worst Original Song in Die Another Day was totally justified). I think Sniff Petrol have gone down the same route, alternating between rehashing unfunny jokes and needlessly beating a dead horse to prove a point.

    Saward is perhaps the worst offender. As I’ve pointed out several times, I think he’s clearly got a grudge against Vijay Mallya and Force India for firing Liuzzi. In his rebuttal to Group Lotus, he claims he has always been up-front about his role at Caterham, but it’s buried in the Blog Rules section (a weird place to put it; “About Joe” would be better a better place for it, but he makes no mention of it there, even under his consultancy tab). Now that I look back on it, he has run a lot of stories claiming that the sale of Group Lotus is imminent, and it has never come to fruition. He has been quite accurate on occasion, detailing the loans between the team and Lithuanian banker Vladimir Antonov – who later got arrested for embezzlement – but Group Lotus’ financial woes have been a regular fixture of his blog, even moreso than criticism of Mallya.

    So I think it’s a good thing for Lotus to have come out and cleared things up – at least from their point of view – but I think it might be a case of too little, too late. They should have done this a year ago, at least. For now, the damage has been done. Even if they did score points in hiring Raikkonen and producing some decent results this year.


    Keith Collantine

    Mike Gascoyne chips in:

    I’m on my way to the circui, unlike a lotus indycar engine apparently



    I have doubts about Joe Saward’s impartiality (not only because of this case) and I also believe that it was silly to talk about many upcoming points for Team Lotus before the 2011 season. Nevertheless, i think Group Lotus’ press release is neither professional nor particularly funny. It somehow reminds me of Stefan GP. They can brag as much as they want to about having the branding rights but I believe all they have created is a large mess and confusion among F1 fans. If even a hardcore fan as me has found it hard to remember when and if I’ve been a fan of Lotus racing, Team Lotus or Caterham, then the occasional followers definitely lost track of the story long ago.



    Well people said that the Horse Whisperer at Ferrari’s site seemed to have gotten more serious lately and maybe the person writing the stuff changed. Now we know where he found his new job, lol.

    @girts: Joe Saward can be affected by his personal feelings but only his personal feelings not specific interests. A good example is how he continuously insisted that Liuzzi is a great F1 driver simply because he liked the guy despite Luizzi not showing much talent in F1 and everyone seeing that his F1 skills aren’t that high. Mallya is another example. His too critical on him at times(not untruthful just not giving him the benefit of the doubt he gives to others) simply because he dislikes his blink attitude. He was critical of Group Lotus even before becoming director in Caterham cars.
    Anyway their statement though is rubbish because whether Joe Saward is biased or not is irrelevant since the guy isn’t the source of the information they say he is.
    All media basically where saying that Lotus is out F1 after the statements of the Gennii boss who basically left that impression with his statements. When the boss of the team you are cooperating with is the source is ridiculous to throw it at Saward who wasn’t even the first to report on those statements.



    I remember a PR person left Ferrari a few years back, and took some job in the Lotus group. An attention-seeking character, who seemed to like to get into as many photos and TV shots as possible. At the time Joe Saward wrote how much he disliked this guy (and then that he felt rather ashamed at how many people replied, agreeing with him!)

    I can’t remember his name – possibly Gino something – or whether he’s still with Lotus. He may have left for Lotus before Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer began to write in the same style as the Lotus press release – but I wouldn’t be all surprised if there was no coincidence…


    Keith Collantine

    Interesting to hear James Allen say during FP1 Lotus (the team) were unhappy with Lotus (the Group) over the press release and some of the things that were revealed in it.



    All this is going to look bad on Group Lotus. Unfortunately, the good men and women at Enstone Racing are going to suffer too, which makes me a sad panda.


    Keith Collantine

    A more considered response which Sniff Petrol just alerted their Twitter followers to:

    I don’t want Lotus to fail and I don’t know a single petrolhead who does. I love Lotus dearly and it’s for exactly that reason that I’m giving their current regime both barrels from a sarcastic shotgun.


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