Malaysia: First a race…now a whole team Lotus?

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Reading Autosport’s report on the situation with BMW and a Malaysian consortium racing to get the final slot for F1’s series in 2010; I was struck by the notion that the government was looking at this from multiple perspectives.

First, they already have a Grand Prix in Malaysia and their largest car company, Proton, owns a portion of Lotus. So the natural concept would be to put together an entire F1 budget for the country and not only pay Bernie Ecclestone for a race but form a team from scratch and attempt to promote Lotus, the race and Malaysia all in one fell swoop.

Sound far-reaching? Perhaps but then again, we all were wondering just what other car company would enter F1 in these “Grapes or Wrath” times. Who would be sound enough, Audi I’m looking at you since you fared better than all car companies last month with a 26% up-tick in sales, to enter F1 and spend the money and resources needed to compete? Surely Audi could but they ran like scared school children from the ALMS series due to the financial crisis and have never made serious notions of F1. Stumped? Well Proton of course!

Instead of buying an already functioning team like the Hinwill-based Sauber folks; Malaysia would rather go it alone and start one from scratch…just look at what Brawn GP did starting from scratch! Except that was really a Honda but who’s counting. They want to trumpet their Lotus ownership and perhaps the most compelling reason to start without any history or baggage in the sport is…

MIKE GASCOYNE!!

Does this guy take a hint or what? He’s been fired from practically every job he held in F1 and still turns up like someone’s kid brother trying to ride the coattails of their older sibling. You might recall that Gascoyne was rumored to be involved by the Litespeed team who was apparently trying to launch and F1 bid earlier this year with Lotus being the name of the car. That sent the purists over the top…me included. But hey…A Proton badged as a Lotus…well that’s okay right?

Mike is a very well respected guy in his field and to be honest, I think he may be abetter salesman than engineer. Why? The guy continually shows up with someone else’s money to make another 2-4 year run at F1. They don’t win much with Mike’s cars but he sure does make a decent splash and living off the event. Good for Gascoyne, bad for Lotus and Sauber/Hinwill-based team.

You can read the faultless ink of Autosport’s here.

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