August 20, 2010
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The Queen’s Bench Division in the High Court of Justice in London have fined Force India €1m, and damages and interest at 8%, to the Aerolab company, who are currently in dispute with the team over unpaid fees, and the wind tunnel model that Aerolab made for Lotus.
Force India have been forced to pay €1m to Aerolab in their ongoing dispute
This is the first result of the Aerolab-Force India dispute, although there is more to come, as Jean Claude Migeot, director of Aerolab, will be charged in Bologna regarding a criminal complaint there. Also, it is unclear whether Lotus will come back into the equation, as their wind tunnel model still is regarded to have been designed questionably by Aerolab, as it may have included Force India intellectual data.
Although there is little more information on this battle, it is believed that the Italian Grand Prix weekend may result in more exchanges of action, as Force India’s assets will be under Italian jurisdiction.
June 1, 2010
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Lotus' pre-season car design, which Force India claim was copied from their design through Aerolab
Germany’s Motorsport Total is reporting that the Force India team are suing the Lotus team, over their cars’ wind tunnel designs. Force India claim that Lotus used pre-season designs that were being made similarly at Force India. This dispute also involves the Aerolab company.
Essentially, here is the dispute. A few months ago, Force India made queries when Lotus’ pre-season design had certain similarities to their own. Aerolab were caught up in this, as they provide wind tunnel usage to Lotus, and are in a technical partnership with Force india since September 2009. However, previously, last November, Aerolab sued Force India over “serious and persistent breaches of contract”.
Lotus work with Fondtech, the parent company of Aerolab. In fact, even last year, Force India had again raised concerns that Lotus had copied designs off their 2009 car, and put them into Lotus’ 2010 car. However, no legal challenge was raised until now.
In their defense, Lotus claim that they are simply caught up in a spat between Force India and Aerolab:
"Lotus Racing has been joined as a co-defendant in civil proceedings
which are principally between Force India and Aerolab/Fondtech.
These proceedings do not allege any wrongdoing on the part of Lotus
Racing. Aerolab/Fondtech vigorously denies any wrongdoing and have
provided Lotus Racing with a full indemnity in relation to the
More on this story as it develops.