Tony Fernandes has reportedly lost the support of Clive Chapman.

Tony Fernandes has reportedly lost the support of Clive Chapman.

The news was reported by the well-known French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet in his latest Auto Plus column.

He said he received the information from "a very good source" at Lotus Cars.

The famous British sports car maker is locked in a legal battle with Fernandes, who intends to continue to use the Lotus name in formula one next year, despite Group Lotus withdrawing its official license.

Moncet's source said Fernandes, Lotus Racing's majority owner and team boss, continually says he has the backing of Chapman, the son of the late Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

But the source said Chapman in fact has dissociated himself from Fernandes' team.

Chapman has reportedly written a letter to Bernie Ecclestone to this effect, and may also issue a press release to confirm his stance officially.

The issue could be doubly problematic for Fernandes' Lotus Racing, with Renault believed to be holding off confirming its supply of engines for 2011 until the wrangling has stopped.

Lotus Racing said last week it will not be making "any further comments" on the issue on the advice of Tun Dr Mahathir, advisor to Group Lotus owner Proton and the former Malaysian PM.

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Report - F1 team Lotus loses support of Chapman family