Black and gold livery for 2011 Lotus

2011 F1 season

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Ayrton Senna, Lotus-Renault 97T, 1985

Lotus will evoke memories of their John Player Special era by running their 2011 car in a black and gold livery.

Lotus Racing chief executive Riad Asmat said:

When we first unveiled our 2010 car there was unanimous praise for our decision to bring the historic green and yellow livery back to the modern F1 grid.

I know the return to the track of the legendary black and gold will be met with even more universal support as it strikes such an emotional chord with fans around the world.

Giving those fans the chance to help us bring it back to the contemporary grid is true to our core belief of putting our supporters right at the heart of Lotus Racing – we can’t wait to show the world what we come up with.
Riad Asmat

Head of marketing Silvi Schaumloeffel said the team want fans to contribute their designs for the 2011 car livery:

We have worked all year to make sure our fans are given unprecedented access to our team. We are all very excited about the move to a black and gold paint scheme for next season, and we want our fans to help us design the livery that will be racing around the world next year.

We will shortly be announcing exactly how the fans can take part in our design process, so keep an eye on our website for more details.

The person who designs the livery we finally choose will be joining us at our first test next year to see the car out on track for the very first time, so for Lotus and F1 fans it is the chance of a lifetime to help us take the next step forward in our amazing story in 2011.
Silvi Schaumloeffel

The John Player Special livery first appeared on the Lotus 72 in 1972 and the cars later changed their names to ‘John Player Specials’ for several years.

Aside from a brief interruption from 1979 to 1981, when Martini and Essex took over, Lotuses remained in John Player colours until 1986. The 98T was last black-and-gold Lotus, and it was also their last Renault-powered car.

Lotus’s 2011 car will be powered by a Renault engine and use a gearbox and hydraulic system supplied by Red Bull.

The team have also announced they will revive the “Team Lotus” name in 2011, but are presently in dispute with Lotus cars manufacturer Group Lotus over their right to do so.

Lotus naming rights row

    Browse all articles on the Lotus naming rights row

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    98 comments on “Black and gold livery for 2011 Lotus”

    1. Yes, what great news. I always loved the look of that Lotus. It’s the same with Renault, the cars of that era were Black and Yellow and I was so glad to see it back.

      1. now just stick heidfeld in it with his new helmet and my god that’ll look awesome

      2. I’m not 100% sure I like this actually. The JPS livery looks great, but there’s something cheap about dragging it back when JPS actually has nothing to do with it. Will 2012 be Gold Leaf? 2013 Camel? Back to green and yellow in 2014 etc?

    2. I really hope this Group Lotus/Team Lotus saga is sorted very soon otherwise it is going to become very confusion for the casual fan.

      1. *Confusing.

        Note to self: When changing a typed comment, reread it before clicking the ‘Submit comment’ button!

        1. I know, I need to do the same with publishing articles sometimes :-)

          1. or just an edit button.

          2. I sometimes want to offer to proof read for you but I realise the time constraints on such articles prevent this. And I know I’m not perfect when it comes to these things, but two pairs of eyes are better than one.

            Let’s face it Keith, we don’t pay for access to your site and you do a brilliant job, especially since you went full time. I hope you still enjoy it as much as before and it is paying it’s way for you.

            1. Absolutely :-)

              You’re dead right though, it’s hard to spot mistakes in your own copy – especially something that’s gone through several revisions.

            2. Nathan Bradley
              12th November 2010, 20:44

              Reply to Chris P and Keith:

              I know what you mean Chris, I sometimes do it as well and Keith; if you do want a proof reader, I’ll be happy to volunteer my services.


          3. Nothing wrong with making mistakes. I do hate it when certain other sites are notified of their errors yet still don’t fix them.

            1. Yes, that is the worst. I unsubscribed from all the feeds of the major F1 sites because of the sheer number of mistakes (content not typos) they made and not bothering to fix them after I contacted them.
              I guess many of the journos that create content for large news corporations don’t really care about the sport so the result is pretty mediocre compared to sites such as F1F that is run by enthusiasts.

        2. Because English is, obviously, not my native language, I usually write in English my comments directly in the google translator. If the translation makes sense in my native language I copy and post them. I avoid, at least, typos.

          1. I would respectfully encourage you not to do that and instead only comment on sites where you can read and write in that language confidently. Automatic translations are shaky at best and you’re only going to confuse people by doing that.

            I’ve seen people post comments on here before which I think were produced by automatic translators and they’re very hard to understand. Please don’t do it.

            1. This remind me, very respectfully, that joke:
              Question: How to call a person that speaks many languages?
              Answer: A polyglot.
              Question: How to call a person that speaks two languages?
              Answer: A bilingual.
              Question: How to call a person that speaks only one language?
              Answer: An american.
              But I think you could very easily change the final of the joke. Good luck with your british site.

            2. That isn’t what I meant at all – my point was don’t post comments that have been spat out by an automatic translator and don’t make any sense.

            3. First I would like to apologize for everyone that could be offended by the above joke. Anyone who ever tried to communicate in a foreinger language knows how hard is to do it properly. I successfuly did two English exams, TOEFL and IELST, but, since this is the only place where I currently write in English, I try to be extra careful.
              I share your concerns about the results of the current translation engines. As I said, I write my posts in English. I mainly use the google translator to catch typos which, by the way, seems to be a problem for a lot of people ; ). If the translation to my native language does not make perfect sense, I usually simplify the phrase. If I think the English phrase is grammatically correct but, even so, the translator can´t translate it properly, I google the English phrase. If I find this phrase in many sites I feel confortable about using it. I have all this extra work because this is an English site and feel I must be respectfull about this. I wouldn´t dare to use a translate engine to post, for instance, in a french site.

            4. Hey it’s ok Claudioff. We’re all fans here. Keith has to manage the nutters so he’s pretty strict.

              Peace brother! :D

      2. I think the casual fan will just call it Lotus.

        1. Which one though? We are going to have a Group Lotus Renault (Proton Group) and a Team Lotus Renault (Current 1Malasysia Lotus Racing Team).

    3. Prisoner Monkeys
      11th November 2010, 9:05

      I think I just had an aneurysm or an orgasm and I’m not entirely sure which one it is …

      1. Are you still alive? Then it would be the orgasm.

      2. Outstanding comment there themark: COTD quality!

      3. If you had them at the same time you could call it an Organysm!

    4. I just wonder they could keep Lotus branding…

    5. Fantastic. And I will certainly be submitting a design for that competition!!

    6. Not excited in the least.

      Whilst it’ll be nice to have another black car in F1 to show off the design, I never saw the fuss over the JPS livery. It’s mostly black with a bit of gold. It’s nice. That’s it.

      1. Agreed. I’d rather they stuck with the green and yellow.

      2. Yeah, me neither. But if they rejig it a bit, possibly with more gold and less black, then it could be something special

        1. Something like the old Wolfs or Arrows would be nice…but then it wouldn’t be Lotus I suppose!

        2. So send in thos livery designs! Has anyone already opened a forum thread on their invitation to send desings to Team Lotus?

        3. Yay Dan and Ned! It’s not just me. Everyone was excited when they said they were going to run the green and yellow livery at the start of this year, now everyone wants them to change it. Considering JPS branding cannot appear on the car, it may look a bit tacky to be honest. :S

          1. Oh and Keith, could you post it in the round-up or something when they start this competition? I don’t have the time to be continually checking every team’s website. Thanks. :)

      3. What? Heresy.

        You’re dead inside, man. ;)

        Now, all we need is for Virgin to get sponsored by Durex, and Williams by Saudia (or maybe Etihad/Emirates?) and the 70s revival will be complete!

    7. UneedAFinn2Win
      11th November 2010, 9:32


      Sorry for the screaming, but this is what I was hoping for this year.

      1. LOL yeah me too, although I never thought they would. Let me follow that with a


        Now they just need to sign Bruno ;)

    8. great but is that livery will stay if they have to change their name?

    9. Prisoner Monkeys
      11th November 2010, 9:51

      Okay, so I’m not too handy with graphics progams, but here’s what I’m thinking: something similar to this year’s livery, but with matte black in the place of British Racing Green. The stripe down the nose remains in place, but is gold. It runs the length of the nose, and then splits in two around the cockpit. As it goes further back along the chassis, it splits again and again into superfine strands that segue from gold to white. Each strand follows the contours of the car as they twist and weave around. All the sponsor logos would be in gold, with the car numbers where they could be read (like on the air intake rollhoop). And finally, across the back side of the rear wing, is a message in gold block letters: START ME UP!

      1. PM you really should consider making that, or get someone to do it for you and send it in, because it could be very good.

      2. PM you just inspired me to open paint.

        Oh wait… Mac’s don’t have paint. :(

    10. A black F1 car would look awesome!

    11. Jonesracing82
      11th November 2010, 9:54

      all we need now is for the Bruno Senna rumour to become reality…..

      1. It’s looking more likely with this announcement, though I don’t see what he’s done yet to deserve what could be a very promising drive

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          11th November 2010, 10:24

          Actually, I don’t think Senna has anything to do with this annoucement. Senna himself has rubbiched the rumours that he’s off to Lotus next year.

          1. why do u guys like bruno? better heidfeld or raikkonen…..

    12. how many people slated Ferrari for a bar code and now a black and gold car is the ‘JPS’ Lotus. Hope there is no subliminal message there.:)

      1. Hah I thought that too… some nice free advertising for JPS

        1. Do JPS smokes still exist?


          1. I’ll be selling them tomorrow… So I suspect they do exist. Although I’ve noticed Marlboro don’t sell well, perhaps when people think of them, they go and buy a Ferrari instead.

        2. Yes, the guys at Imperial Tobacco must have some big grins at the moment. But is also clearly shows the power of a great colour scheme, 14 years after it’s last use and it still has strong associations. Can’t say any of the current crop of colour schemes have that effect (Ferrari excepted!)

          1. I work at Imperial Tobacco Head office in Bristol, and the thought of free advertising would certainly go down well, as it stands, Tobacco products cannot be advertised in F1, so we’re limited to Rizla (MotoGP). A virtual JPS livery would not harm us in the slightest!!!

            1. The harm, of course, is to air quality and lungs.
              /cancer researcher

    13. The livery was popular because it had Senna and it was winning races, not the other way around.

      This is meaningless unless next year’s Lotus is fast.

      1. The livery was popular from the 1st day it was used. Yes I’m old enough to remember, and Lotus road cars in the livery commanded a premium. That was years before Senna.

        1. Second that Jim N. In UK at least, that JPS Lotus was the best looking F1 car by a street. It was simply…..elegant. If what Lotus ( or whatever they call themselves next season ) create is even half as good as the old design, it will be the best looking car on the grid.

          And as a life-long non-smoker I can tell you that, as far as we fans were concerned in those days, the source of all the money and it’s deadly associations were entirely submergedin the euphoria of the Lotus marque’s s tremendous success.

      2. jps was also used on the iconic 72

    14. I’ve always wanted to see a Black and Gold 1TeamMalaysia… wonder what colour the forthcoming Lotus/Renaults will be?


    15. Prisoner Monkeys
      11th November 2010, 10:27

      The only problem with a black and gold Lotus liver is that it means we lose the British Racing Green one. It’s a shame British Racing Green and black are a terrible combination.

      1. Then come up with a design that fades the BRG into Black and do the fine detail in gold. Maybe you can win the comp with that.

      2. So who is this poor guy with a black and gold liver…..?

    16. No, no awesome at all. This looks like dirty politics, nothing else.
      Some days ago – JP Moncet – French journalist commenting about F1 said first a rumour from un undisclosed source that Lotus Group (the opponent to Lotus Racing for Lotus brand to be entering in F1) F1 cars will be provided with historic black and gold livery

      So when today I suddenly hear the same idea from Lotus Racing, while all that behind-the-scenes battle for Lotus brand is not settled, I am just sick and tired of this “awesome” news. It’s dirty politics all over the place and fooling all people.
      No, no enthusiasm from me to Lotus Racing.

    17. I loved the black Arrows from 1998. Looked brilliant.

      Agree though that the politics and branding issue is going to be both silly and confusing.


      Interesting article about all the different liveries Lotus have used in F1

    19. !! brilliant news!! although the colours got me into smoking jps, they were disgusting so i stopped

    20. So this is Lotus? Not Lotus? So Lotus wont be changing their name to Air Asia, and Lotus when they sponsor Renault will have what colours exactly? Are we going to have 2x Lotus on the field next year?

      1. Maybe they will call themselves “The JayPeeEss racing team” if lotus turns out to not be possible :-p

    21. I get the impression that this Lotus team won’t be called Lotus next year.

      In the past Minardi also raced with black and yellow colours because of Malaysian sponsorship. I think that this will be a further step towards a Malaysian team without the Lotus name (and colours).

      Probably we will see Renault using the green and yellow colours with sponsorship and cooperation of the Lotus Group next year.

      1. We may have both, a la Red Bull. that’ll be exciting.

    22. How about “World Wide Racing”, Colin Chapman used to enter his team under names like this – something to do with Italian legal action against the team.

      I’m gonna call Renault “Renault”, not “Lotus”. As Ted Kravitz pointed out, Hamilton and Button don’t drive a Vodafone do they?

    23. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

      The thing about the JPS livery was that it was sponsor! What’s the point of coming back to it when JPS is no longer a sponsor!!! British racing Green with the Yellow stripe are the Lotus Colours! The ONLY way I would approve of this is if they are planning to rotate the colours every season: BRG + Yellow one season, JPS livery the next. However, if this is the case then why are we ignoring the Gold Leaf livery? Rindt one the championship in those colours!

    24. who cares what the casual fan thinks!

    25. as a livery its up there wqith allitalia on the stratos, martini on something else by Lancia i think but cant remember and the egg shell blue and orange on a racing Porsche. probably not hondas earth car tho!!

    26. yes the black and gold resonates with many people, mainly those who were school kids during the 70’s and early 80’s. Senna had nothing to do with it, it was just cos they looked good

    27. I almost feel like they are baiting people of my age group.

      What’s green and yellow or black and gold and rhymes with tortoise?

      1. But Lotus doesn’t rhyme with tortoise….???

    28. Oops! I gave you the answer :P

    29. History doesn’t repeat itself, it stutters. Nothing will bring back the awesome looks of the 72, the 78 or the 79. These cars were not beautiful because they were black and gold but because they were the best cars of their respective eras and were driven by the best drivers. To have a black and gold “Lotus” crawling at the back of the field, so what ? You may put lipstick and a blonde whig on a cocker spaniel, it is still a cocker spaniel.

    30. The most important thing is to not have black or graphite wheels – they look awful and old news. Could be chrome on the outside rim and black in the middle, or all-chrome

    31. Here’s an interesting idea – the thing with JPS is they entered races under the JPS name, not Lotus. This makes it possible (in theory) for Group Lotus to continue their partnership with Renault using the Lotus name, while Lotus Racing take on a backronym for JPS.

      An improbable idea, but not impossible.

      1. Well, they would have to show the EU and such that they are, despite appearances like the livery and name, are not somehow being a commercial for the cigarette brand, so it seems a bit unlikely.

    32. yeah now we don’t have that green anymore! :(
      anyway as long as they have the big gold and black car numbers on the sidepods i’m happy.

    33. I recently took a picture of a Lotus Elise at Assen 2010 in gold and black livery.

      We were saying that Lotus should have used those colors instead of the green.

    34. I’m just waiting for the inevitable statement from Tony that this will undoubtedly help Lotus on their quest to become a solid midfield runner immediately, if not sooner. Followed by a definite challenge for the world championship within a week or so.

      My prediction is that it won’t be too long before the phrase “stupendous momentum” is used, with all seriousness, in a Lotus press release.

      1. Yes and as a real poke in the eye to Group Lotus, the livery will incorporate the 7 Championship Laurel Wreaths! :D

    35. im so happy that this has finally come back for the Lotus team mabye it still has an element of Senna in it? who knows

    36. Thats fantastic news

    37. Oh. My. God. Yes. I am absolutely psyched and I honestly hope it’s pretty much exactly how the old livery used to be. Because frankly it did and still does look bad*ss. I really like that they’re bringing back old liveries. Most of the new ones are just so generic it’s painful.

    38. Good news. Their car are beautiful at the moment, but the black and gold was one of the best ever.

      It’s nice to see a team trying to improve it aesthetically. I think Hispania has lots to learn in this matter. Their car are the ugliest by far.

    39. Wasn’t there a rumour HRT were to be using a more Hispanic livery next season as opposed to grey, more reds, oranges and yellow.

    40. While the JPS black and gold livery is one of my favourites it will be a bit odd having it while not been sponsored by JPS. Also I like the current Green and yellow livery so I will miss that.

      Does anyone think there will be any issues with tobacco rules as the livery is associated with John Player Special and Ferrari had to drop the barcode because it was associated with Marlboro.

      Regardless I hope that they get to keep the name Lotus.

    41. They are really trying to hard to be associated with the old team, aren’t they? Tony Fernandez will never be Colin Chapman.

    42. Found someone’s photoshop idea from the beginning of the year:

      Personally I think his imagining of the Essex livery looks far better:

      (Credit: user “manchild” on Autosport forums)

      1. Yes, that second combination works much better on the shape of the car, the gold line needs to be used very differently – I think it should be a thin line, but more of it.

    43. Well bosyber, better enter the competition and you might get the design you want. ;)

      I really hope they still have the Lotus name in 2011, they seem to want to be in F1, and they wouldn’t be the same without the historic name. Renault can be said to be historic in F1 so that team should stay as Renault to keep it simple… Although being F1 it won’t be a simple conclusion!!

    44. I’ll miss the current paint but British green could be adopted by any other british team some day. However this JPS livery is only for Lotus so im really happy!

      And I hope Renault keep the black and yellow in 2011. Its so classic and we need a yellow car.

    45. How can certain comments made on here be so complicit with this farce? The Lotus name has been reduced to a commodity and is being used as the political football of Tony Fernandes, Proton and the Malaysian government. Most painful of all is listening to Lopez and Fernandes competing for the title of Lotus’ biggest boyhood fan and the right to be the guardian of the Lotus legacy. I’m no Lotus purist but to me the association of this livery with Senna means it should stay retired out of respect.

    46. Well i dont associate it with Senna. he came to Lotus after their real glory years. Ive still got a corgi model of the 72 lotus on my desk ( tho i wasnt old enough to remember it) but i did see the 78 raced by Andretti.

      Brands arent people, id stop getting so precious about it. Its great publicity and for those of a certain age the colour scheme brings back happy memories of a simpler time or certainly a less finger wagging time.

      Cant wait for the Bugatti badged blue Virgin!

    47. Which Lotus? Lotus Renault or AirAsia team?

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