No Malaysian money for Team Lotus - at the moment

DAVID HUNT, the man who controls the rights to the name Lotus in Formula 1, says that he is hoping to bring the famous racing team back into Grand Prix racing - but he says there is no deal involving Lotus Cars nor its parent company Proton - which is effectively owned by the Malaysian government.

This could, of course, change as Malaysian oil company Petronas - which funds the Sauber team and has ambitions to build its own F1 engines - is currently negotiating to buy a major shareholding in Proton. There are suggestions from Malaysia that Petronas may pay as much as $265m for a 27% share in the company, although negotiations have been dragging on for nearly eight months.

The latest Proton models are being fitted with the road-going engines developed by Sauber Petronas Engineering in Switzerland. Some of these cars will be used as safety and intervention cars at the forthcoming Malaysian Grand Prix in October.

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