Renault will also become Lotus-Renault in 2011

2011 F1 season

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2011 Lotus-Renault livery

There could be two teams named Lotus-Renault on the F1 grid in 2011 as Renault announce a sponsorship deal with Lotus Cars.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Renault have agreed a $100m title sponsorship deal with Lotus Cars which will see the team renamed Lotus Renault GP from next year.

The deal will see Renault sell the remainder of its shares to Genii Capital, which bought 75% of them last year.

They will clash head-on with Lotus Racing, who brought the famous name back to F1 at the beginning of this year and recently signed a deal to use Renault engines in 2011.

Making matters even more confusing, both teams are planning to use black-and-gold colour schemes next year, evoking memories of the company’s iconic John Player Special Livery.

Lotus Racing recently concluded a competition for fans to design their black-and-gold 2011 livery. In a clear reference to that, here’s how Lotus-Renault described their livery design for next year:

This livery, which has been on the drawing board for over two months in order to reinterpret its iconic graphic signature to suit modern media requirements, is sure to strike a powerful chord with the sport’s enthusiasts around the world.

Lotus Racing team principal Tony Fernandes had previously announced the team would revive the historic Team Lotus name in 2011. But he faces opposition from Lotus Cars and the dispute will go before the High Court in the new year.

Lotus Cars have already announced a sponsorship deal with GP2 team ART, who will be known as Lotus ART in 2011. Fernandes’ airline Air Asia will have a GP2 team of its own called Team Air Asia.

Full statement from Renault:

Genii Capital and Group Lotus plc today announced the creation of Lotus Renault GP, the successor to the Renault F1 Team that will contest the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship. This exciting announcement is made in the context of a strategic alliance between the two companies that will provide Group Lotus with significant technological and commercial opportunities for its range of road cars.

Following the return of the Lotus name to Formula 1 in 2010, under licence from Group Lotus, this historic announcement marks the complete return of the Lotus manufacturer to the sport, with the full backing of its parent company Proton. Group Lotus plc will become a major equity partner of Genii Capital in Lotus Renault GP, and the two parties have concluded a title sponsorship agreement that will run until the end of the 2017 season. With the continued support of Renault as a supplier of engines and technological and engineering expertise, Lotus Renault GP enjoys a strong, stable platform for future success.

Gerard Lopez, Chairman of Renault F1 Team, commented: "We are delighted that we can now go public with the news that we will be racing as Lotus Renault GP in 2011. It is extremely exciting to begin a new era for the team in partnership with Group Lotus, and we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with Renault over the coming seasons. It is a tribute to the excellent work this year by the team in Enstone that we have been able to attract both major sponsorship and new investment for a very bright future."

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back."

The new partnership has been enabled by Renault selling its remaining shares in the team to Genii Capital. Group Lotus plc will subsequently become a major equity partner in Lotus Renault GP, which it will co-own with Genii Capital.

Renault will continue its strong support of the team with which it won the 2005 and 2006 world championships, as a supplier of engines and technological and engineering expertise. Reflecting this technological support, Lotus Renault GP will continue to compete with the Renault chassis name and Renault will enjoy pre-eminent brand exposure on the livery.

For 2011, the Lotus Renault GP cars will race in a new interpretation of the iconic black and gold colours that were last used when Lotus and Renault joined forces in the 1980s. This livery, which has been on the drawing board for over two months in order to reinterpret its iconic graphic signature to suit modern media requirements, is sure to strike a powerful chord with the sport’s enthusiasts around the world.

The team scored a strong fifth-place finish in the 2010 constructors’ championship, which included three podium finishes for Robert Kubica. Next season, Lotus Renault GP is aiming to take another step forward which will see it competing regularly with the most prestigious names in Formula 1.

Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital, endorsed the deal, saying:

For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1 opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. In this regard, Genii Capital possesses shareholdings in, and direct access to, cutting edge companies in the automotive industry. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step.
Gerard Lopez

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn added:

This multi-partner alliance will bring a new dynamic to the team and enable it to compete with the sport’s best from next season.
Carlos Ghosn

Update: Fernandes believes the news strengthens his hand in his efforts to win the rights to use the Lotus name. He said on Twitter:

Dany Bahar has done us a favour. Never felt better about our future and Team Lotus. Looks like [they’re] trying to hijack our black and gold idea.
Tony Fernandes

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    Image © Renault/LAT

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    185 comments on “Renault will also become Lotus-Renault in 2011”

    1. What



      1. This is beyond a joke now.

        Originally it was a quirky situation, but this is just a wang-measuring contest now with Bahar determined to steamroll Fernandes whatever it takes.

        I support true-Lotus, the team who best encapsulate Team Lotus, the team who have captured the imagination of fans, the team who showed real pluck and spirit – the team who were there in 2010.

        1. This is both entertaining and irritating. It’s like a huge train wreck in very slow motion… Fernandes is the genuine heart behind the Lotus Revival. the others are just trying to milk the brand name by strapping it to a Renault Chassis and Engine. it will always be a Renault, whereas Fernandes’ team lotus has been built around the name from the get go…i fully support him in that sense

          1. Why everyone say for 2011:

            Team Lotus Renault
            1Malaysia Renault F1 Team
            [ There were only engine deal ]

            Lotus Renault GP:
            Technological & business partners
            [ just like Marusia Virgin Racing ]

            Don’t recall there were in 2010:

            Lotus Racing Cosworth
            1Malaysia Cosworth F1 Team

            Regards ;))

      2. To quote Bulldog from Fraiser “This stinks!! This is total BS!!”

        The best solution would have been for Lotus Cars to get behind Tony’s team, pony up the cash and run as “Team Lotus”.

        Tony’s done a great job but I do feel this latest twist stretches his already tenuous link to the Lotus name.

      3. couldn’t agree more.

        Pathetic in every single way.

        1. At least it now makes sense why Lotus (cars) were getting in a huff about Lotus (current F1 team) using the team lotus name. Although why Lotus (cars) gave their blessing to Lotus (F1 team) to use the lotus name this time last year when Lotus (cars) were planning to get involved themselves a year later makes no sense.

          This is probably the most nonsensical comment I’ve ever written.

          1. On aseperate note, although it’s kind of nice to see the return of black and gold, I quite liked Renault’s classic yellow. It’s a shame it only survived a single year.

          2. Bahar didn’t have full grip of the Proton reins this time last year.

            The change of direction is Bahar.

            1. None of this is true.
              It’s from the Telegraph

      4. Total joke, very pathetic. The most annoying bit of that press release is the statement that “this historic announcement marks the complete return of the Lotus manufacturer to the sport.” THEY NEVER WERE IN THE SPORT!!

    2. tomforpresident
      8th December 2010, 9:02

      Guess this may explain why group lotus wanted the lotus racing/ team lotus name off the grid next year.

      Bet they love the work fernandes did and publicity gained from him.

      1. Yeah. This is stupid. Lotus did all the hard work and now this crowd wants a bit of the action. How awful. And now Renault is gone! We only just got them back and in the iconic ‘wasp’ styled livery. :(

        1. It’s a real shame. Watching Kubica stick it to the big three, like a big yellow bee you just can’t shake off was good fun. If Virgin and HRT don’t change their liveries for next season we’re going to have an overload of black on the grid.

          On a separate note, although the JPS colours are possibly the most iconic of all Lotus liveries, I’d have liked Tony Fernandes to stick to the current green and gold, or change to the Gold Leaf colours. White and red gel well (barring the Ferrari F10)

        2. We only just got them back and in the iconic ‘wasp’ styled livery.

          True. I’ll miss that livery next year.

    3. If there’s two Lotus-Renault next year, it will be easy to get WCC with 4 black-golden car lol

      1. +1

        On the serious, why aren’t the FIA doing anything about this situation? It makes the whole F1 fraternity look bad.

        1. Well Team Lotus is already on the official FIA entry list. Lotus-Renault is not, so they’ll be the second team trying to gain entry under the name. That should be in Team’s favor.

    4. OMG!!! This is disaster in F1 like never known before. Team Lotus-Renault and Lotus-Renault.

      1. Add that to the fact that both are planning to use the black-gold livery…

        1. i guess we’re gonna end up with 2 groups of 4 cars that have similiar liveries – RB/STR and Lotus-Renault/Lotus Renault

        2. Anyway, the livery I saw from team Lotus looks a lot better than the above photoshop job, I think; compare:

          1. Jarred Walmsley
            9th December 2010, 19:55

            That is one beautiful car, I demand that that car be on the grid in Bahrain to detract from the boreness that is the Bahrainian GP.

      2. No not Team Lotus – Renault, Lotus-Renault og Lotus Racing – Renault

        1. This will be a nightmare for LG’s telemetry systems.

    5. Just shows how much of a joke the “Lotus” team for 2010 actually was. No real relation to the legends of the past and an embarrassment to F1.

      Good riddance, let’s hope they get a new name for next year.

      1. You’re joking, surely? Tony is the guy who got booted off by Bahar despite having the support of the Chapmans. Pending the decision of the High Court, he is the rightful owner of the Team Lotus name. Group Lotus was never created to race in F1, that was Team Lotus’ job.

        Simply put, why did Bahar spend on Renault sponsorship when he could’ve just bolstered Tony’s team and gotten them both more publicity? Unless Bahar was being selfish and wanted all the fame for himself…

        1. Moreover, as I understand it, the deal which gives Tony Fernandes the rights to race under the Team Lotus name, also give him the rights to use the iconic Lotus badge in F1, whether that is the soul rights or not I don’t know.

          I understand that this matter has been through the High Courts before and Team Lotus won, so I can see why Tony is confident – the courts may not look to kindly on Group Lotus jumping the gun on their decision.

          I know which team I’ll be supporting next season…and it’s the one that had green and yellow cars this year!!

          1. Maybe Fernandez will take over the whole of Proton after it bankrupts from the legal claims.

            After all, the Lotus Group has already been proven not to be in its right when reffering to the Team Lotus heritage in the past, by court order.
            Just imagine the damages claimed for this move, the livery (which as nothing whatever to do with Lotus cars, only with the Team Lotus ex sponsors!), the press statements, autoshow presentations, Proton headquarters presentation etc.

        2. Toucher Journeyer… Bahar is irate from Fernandes… there is a personal thing between the two.

      2. Jarred Walmsley
        8th December 2010, 9:18

        And yet the team with no links to the F1 team is better?

        1. Honestly what good is a link? I’ve never looked “Team Lotus” as the real thing because all they have is “blessing”. Nothing else in that team is from the golden days.

          The faster one with a larger budget will be the real one.

          The slower one with the smaller budget will lose.

          1. Actually, there is a distinct csae for saying the slower one with the lower budget is the real Lotus ;)

          2. Jarred Walmsley
            9th December 2010, 19:59

            Well a link is better than no link, also Team Lotus have a much better leader than Group Lotus and I would rather have lunch with Fernandes then Bahar, as otherwise I would have to spend the whole time not wanting to punch the man in his nose for ruining Lotus. (Thats Bahar I want to punch not Fernandes, just to clarify)

      3. This is a sad day for Formula 1… on reading this news my heart sank.

        Colin Chapman will be turning in his grave.

        1. Agreed- what a (censored) shambles.

          Danny Bahar, in the unlikely event you are reading this, I hereby vow never to buy a Lotus, no matter how rich I get or cheap they become.

          1. Well what’s worse is that I liked Kubica and Petrov and where Renault was going. Now I pretty much won’t pull for them simply out of spite until they move teams. Tony won’t beat them next season but in time, I hope it to be a regular occurrence.

          2. Danny Bahar, in the unlikely event you are reading this, I hereby vow never to buy a Lotus, no matter how rich I get or cheap they become.


    6. Will the team now be officially British? Makes no difference really, but seems odd to see hold a French F1 license but run with the Union Flag on the side of the car…

      1. No worse than being malaysian and having a GB flag

        1. True. Perhaps they should only be allowed to run under the flag they’re licensed in. Seems a lot of heritage grabbing goes on.

          So officially we now have a Malaysian Team Lotus and a French Lotus. Both of whom claim to be the rightful heir to the Team Lotus history.

          You couldn’t make this stuff up!

          1. Actually, there’s really two Malaysian Lotus’. Funny, because neither of them are the original Lotus. One owns the cars, one (may) own the racing team, but that’s like saying Mercedes is Tyrrell. No, it’s not.

            Still, Fernandes was there first. He should have the name….and keep the yellow and green livery – the true racing colours of Lotus! :D

            Don’t worry about what Fernandes says about the “hijack” of the black and gold colours – Lotus-Renault will just argue that gold is yellow and black/yellow is the colour scheme of Renault. ;)

        2. But more strange is actually having Malaysians running a british based Team, referring to stolen british racing heritage running with a French licence.

    7. What if Tony wins in court? Can Renault still chage their name to Proton-Renault?

      1. I reckon Group Lotus have more leeway than Team Lotus in doing a name change. Group Lotus only need to deal with Renault, and that commercial agreement should have some wiggle room compared to (what should be) black and white regulations.

        Either way, Bahar HAS to keep the Renault name or risk losing 2010 prize money allocated to that team.

      2. In theory if Tony wins in court he could even seek a High Court Injunction to prevent Renault racing as Lotus Renault…

        1. And he should!

          1. Here’s hoping that’s what happens!

        2. How effective will that be though? Maybe that will stop the Genii team from running in the British GP as Lotus-Renault, but there are 19 other races next year.

          1. No that would be effective in quite a lot more countries. It could involve pushing FOM and subsidiaries into action as they are British.

            1. Not to mention that the team that was until today Renault F1, is based in Britain so they can be shut down, potentially.

    8. this simply doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, and is a real shame for those of us who have followed fernandes’ team this last year with great hope of a stronger running in 2011.

      sad fact is, that the rebranded Renault car will not only have the Lotus-Renault name, but will likely be faster, and with Robert Kubica behind the wheel, is bound to be much more competitive across the year than the new Lotus from Gascoyne. Shame

      1. They may have the speed, but they won’t have my support.

      2. Bold assumption. Remember this is the same team that built a dog of a car in 2007 and 2009…

      3. Good point, graigchq. That leads me to think that if Keith runs this poll again directly before the end of the 2011 season, the results may be substantially different from what I suspect they are now.

      4. Not too sure about that. Remember, they share the same engine and will have the Red Bull technology backend.
        Combine that with Gascoyne as a pretty clever engineer of his own, and the biggest downside for the team might be the drivers.
        That said, I rate Heikki pretty high and Jarno would love to clinch the odd pole.

        Robert Kubica on the other hand might be worried about Bahar actually upsetting the teams dealings (to much ego to let them do their thing) and Renault offering the same engineering support to Team Lotus and possibly more to WCC team Red Bull next year.

        1. I hope Kubica jumps ship next year. I want to support him, but no longer want to support his team.

          1. Maybe he could ask Ferrari for a swap with Alonso :-p

    9. Very disappointing that Group Lotus and Team Lotus couldn’t link up.

      The blame has to go to Bahar I suppose.

    10. Christian Biddon
      8th December 2010, 9:20

      “Following the return of the Lotus name to Formula 1 in 2010, under licence from Group Lotus, this historic announcement marks the complete return of the Lotus manufacturer to the sport….”

      Group Lotus has never raced in F1 so how can they return?

      Chumps! Leeching off all the work that Fernandes has done over the past year.

      1. Agreed. It’s a statement loaded with legalese.

      2. Bahar: “the complete return of the Lotus manufacturer to the sport”

        The Lotus manufacturer were NEVER part of the sport.

        They’re trying to sneakily grab public support through blatant lies.

        1. I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are sort of Lotus and we are back whether you like it or not.”

    11. So will there be 2 Lotus-Renault teams? Or will Renault become Lotus-Renault and Lotus not taking part? Damn this is confusing!

    12. Is it just me or does this have the feel of a petty squabble when a child says “you can borrow my toy” then gets jealous and snatches it back?

      First the 2010 team can use the name then they can’t. Then the 2010 team will run black and gold which apparently the owner of Lotus cars loved that livery and now they’re saying “no, it’s ours”. The name may have been on loan to Lotus but it was still given to them and now Lotus just looks quite petty although they arguably, ahve every right.

      I’m quite sad on a really superficial level too. I loved having a yellow car on the grid.

      In other news, Ferrari are changing their name to Mclaren Ferrari as they’re bored of their red paint scheme. Sorry, couldn’t resist a terribly bad joke :P

      1. Yes, I really liked the Renault livery and I was very happy that the original lotus look would come back (i liked the green version though), but tice?

        And I am never going to be able to explain the problem in a simple way to my fellow non-F1 followers.

      2. If you want a yellow livery, you could always phone up Proton-Renault GP and ask them nicely if they would consider using an updated Camel livery from the late 80’s.

        1. Tango you’re right… it’s too complicated for non daily F1 followers to grasp…looks pretty stupid from the outside, which is pretty true

    13. This is a joke. And an embarrassment to F1 and the Lotus brand.

    14. I can’t bear to think how Legard is going to cope with this…..


        Rumors are we may not get to find out, if the BBC have anything to say about it.

        But that’s another topic.

      2. I can already hear him.
        Lotus from Lotus from Lotus from Lotus….

        In 2009 i was sick of hearing “Brawn from Brawn” and they were only two.

    15. Well, I shall be supporting the real Lotus team… the ones at the back.

    16. Before this gets even more complicated than it needs to be:
      To me, putting a hyphen in the name suggests ‘chassis-engine’, i.e. “Lotus-Renault” is the car built by the Lotus team (this year’s entrant, Team Lotus), with a Renault engine. “Lotus Renault GP”, on the other hand, is this year’s Renault team with title sponsorship from the car company Group Lotus. Their car would be a “Lotus Renault-Renault”.

      Therefore, Keith, could I humbly suggest/request that the hyphenated name “Lotus-Renault” should not be used by F1Fanatic to refer to (Group) Lotus Renault GP?

      Thankfully, I’m in little doubt that Bernie will do something about the near-identical names and liveries if the situation still exists at the beginning of March…

      1. Am certainly going to have to tread carefully with the nomenclature on this one…

      2. We better have an IUPAC name and a standard name.

        1. We better have an IUPAC name and a standard name.


      3. Call Tony’s Lotus as “aspirin” and
        Proton’s Lotus as “2-Acetoxy Benzioc Acid

        1. ‘Acetylsalicylic acid’ surely! No chemist in their right mind uses IUPAC for much…

        2. Parafruzyoxybendroneomycin, surely.

          1. You’re all just trying to win COTD by using big words. You don’t fool me :-)

            1. I don’t even know what nomenclature means!

          2. Someone likes the Amateur Transplants :D

            1. Yes, Ben’s comment wins as far as I’m concerned!

    17. To those saying the 2010 Lotus Cosworth team had nothing to do with the ‘real’ lotus, it has as much to do with F1 as Proton-Renault will…I mean ‘Lotus-Renault’…my bad :P

      1. but that’s the hub of it all isn’t it?

        Neither team really has anything to do with the team of old, regardless of whom owns the naming rights.

        So you’ve got a new team that bought the rights as a marketing tool (with the Chapman Family support so a plus point there) and a car manufacturer whose lineage comes from the same line as the original team, but has long since lost the connection, and are again using it for marketing to push car sales.

        The only sensible solution was for Group to work with Team, but I suspect they want to sell cars by winning, and it’s easier to flash some cash to get you name on a front running car, than make a very slow car quick.

        1. Only thing is, what if they do not end up winning?
          And the cars they want to built are so far from the lotus cars lineage, this connection with the brand and the cars is lost?

    18. Sad news indeed. For those who went to the Lotus day at Snetterton last year you would understand Tony had done a great job of bringing back the Lotus name. I feel for him and the team in general. Dany Bahar and co seem to have jumped on the band wagon after Tony has showed them how much F1 can offer. Seems like they are only back in this for financial rather than sporting reasons.
      What have they said in terms of commitment to the sport? Are they still going to be here in 2020? I doubt it.
      If I was tony I would now change the team name and go off in a different direction. I think/hope they will get a lot of support from true fans.

      1. Ah but surely Team Lotus need the TV revenue from the 2010 season, that must be a sizeable chunk of their budget. Changing their name entirely would stop them from getting all that hard earned cash.

        1. So I guess they would only agree if, as a minimum, they get the difference from Group Lotus – and they then also need to miss the estimated 100 million from Renault F1 if they change the name, so the current price that is listed would end up costing them more then double that. Doesn’t sound like a great deal really.

    19. JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    20. I don’t understand all of this “it’s a joke” or “it’s a disgrace” “I won’t support this fake Lotus”.

      First of all, Tony Fernandes’ team is at exactly the same level of NOT being the true Lotus as the Proton-Renault. Both are Malaysian entities, both just bought the Lotus name one way or another. And some people really got caught in Mr Fernandes’ PR trap of getting the support of the people for a “just” cause.

      And the nobody seems to remember that the “true” Lotus exists only for one year under it’s current name and for the whole 2010 was registered as 1 Malaysia F1 Team.

      So in the wake of two fake Lotuses I still prefer the faster.

    21. Two teams.

      Both are to be known as “Lotus Renault”, or some variation thereof.

      Both are planning to run black-and-gold liveries.

      Both are locked in a bitter custody dispute over the name.


      This isn’t over. There’s no way the FIA are going to let this slide.

      Situation assessed.

      1. The FiA getting involved would be far to sensible a situation.

        1. I’m pretty sure there are provisions for name changes that allow the FIA to intervene:

          1) A team’s name must be an actual word. This is why Hispania are known as HRT – the FIA did not recognise the word “Hispania”.

          2) A team’s name must not reflect negatively on another team. I cannot create a team and call it “Ferrari Sucks”.

          3) Teams cannot have identical or similar-sounding names. This is for the purposes of identification on timing sheets and for spectators. Red Bull and Toro Rosso get away with it because while they both mean “Red Bull”, they sound nothing alike. But as we now have Lotus-Renault F1 and Team Lotus-Renault, they sound too similar (and they’re not owned by the same people). Especially since they plan on running similar liveries. It will be too difficult to differentiate them.

          As Group Lotus is now Renault’s title sponsor, I’d say Team Lotus will have to forgo their claim to the name if the FIA intervenes. Money changed hands, with Group Lotus buying a 25% stake in Renault. The FIA cannot simply undo that.

          1. Jarred Walmsley
            9th December 2010, 20:09

            So, if Team Lotus (Fernandes) changed their name to say Pasukan Lotus (Team Lotus in Malay) would this be acceptable or would it not be acceptable as Lotus is still in the name

      2. Errrr… that is exactly what i was thinking And im somewhat surprised that I had to slide all the way to page #2 of comments before anyone mentioned it.

        First and foremost, this “Lotus – Renault” fairy-tale name will have to be approved by the FIA, who will undoubtedly reject or reassess the approval. You can not just make up a name and call it whatever. There needs to be a unique identity, and as PM has outlined below, surely this will not be approved.

        1. If I were Jean Todt, I’d reject both claims to the Team Lotus name, regardless of who the courts decided had won. The Group Lotus team would become known as something like Gravity Lotus, whilst Lotus Racing would become Fernandes Lotus. That’s the only way I’d allow them both to run with the Lotus name: with a unique identifier attached to it.

          There’s not much that can be done about similar liveries, but I seriously doubt Bernie Ecclestone is going to let that one pass by. Like I said, Red Bull and Toro Rosso can get away with it because they’re the same company. Group Lotus and Lotus Racing are at each others’ throats.

    22. There’s no Russian sponsorship on that car yet.

      1. which means Heidfeld or Hulkenberg for car no. 10!

        1. It means nothing. Nick Heidfeld has conceded that so long as Vladimir Putin is a fan of Formula 1, Vitaly Petrov’s seat is safe. After all, the dude was a KGB agent. You don’t want to mess with that.

          As for Nico Hulkenberg, he’s being strongly linked to Force India or a Mercedes test role. He was never seriously considered by Renault.

          Neither of them deserve it, anyway.

      2. What’s your point? Vyborg Shipyards, Lada and Flagman Vodka were all sponsors that came with Petrov. Petrov has not yet been re-signed to the team, though he is expected to be. Renault have no reason for keeping his sponsors on the car just now.

        1. I know. I’m just playing. :P

    23. I would just love if Lotus Renault-Renault built a car to rival their 2009 offering, whilst Team Lotus-Renault pulled a BrawnGP and built a race-winning car after spending a large chunk of this year on it.

      Not likely to happen, but would be nice!!

      As an aside, people don’t have an issue with having 2 Red Bull teams, sure one has an Italian name, but they’re essentially the same name and their liveries are fairly similar. I suspect people would get used to having 2 Lotus teams on the grid, only Lotus Renault-Renault will still get called Renault…

      One other question this raises, as Renault are no longer a share-holder in the Renault F1 team, will they start to treat Red Bull Racing as their primary team?

      1. How do you say lotus (as the flower) in italian?

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          8th December 2010, 12:50

          Fiore di loto.
          Not very impressive, is it?

      2. Good point about the red Bull liveries – although the team names are sufficiently different (in spelling and pronunciation at least), the cars are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Though it has been slightly easier this year with the cars themselves no longer being identical.

    24. I don’t like either, the Malaysian Lotus was a joke to begin with…

    25. Worse still, will companies want their name on the Lotus at the front, or the Lotus at the back somewhere?

    26. 4 cars that will look very alike on the grid this season, adding to the existing 4 of Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Guess the only way you can tell them apart is by the position they’re running in.

    27. Here’s what I want to see: Team Lotus ditches the plan to use gold/black and goes for Camel yellow instead. The ultimate switcheroo!

      1. I think that would be the best thing to do.

    28. This is absurd. To have entered as Group Lotus is one thing, but to then plan to use the same livery as Fernandes’ Lotus just smacks of Bahar being bitter about the whole thing. I’m not too worried as this isn’t over – They both wont be Lotus-Renault and I’ll be amazed if they have the same livery.

      The sad thing for me is that if one does have to change it’s likely to be Fernandes’ Team Lotus. Ok so neither are the real Lotus, but Tony owns the rights to the Team Lotus name, has the blessing of the Chapman family and seems to embody the spirit and the history of the original Team Lotus. What more could he do? Bahar is just in it to make a quick buck which is very sad.

    29. I can only assume the target is to get the name “Lotus” onto the podium as quickly as possible, so am I suspecting a similar tactic being deployed by Tony Fernandez as to the RedBull entrants (RedBull Racing and Torro Rosso).
      By having ownership in two teams despite their individual differences, this would assist with the appropriate investment and direction that needs to be taken in the years following 2011, using 2011 as a guide for that.
      It would guide the brand name “Lotus” into the most appropriate position, whilst using the other team as another ‘advertising billboard’ and a team to bring in new drivers, engineers and mechanics.

      1. i think you are misreading this situation. If it were about having two co-owned teams then this wuld be a different conversation altogether.

        please re-read.. the dispute is over two SEPERATE entities both believing they have the right to the name and the livery…

    30. Danny Bahar is a disgrace to the historic Lotus name and it’s wonderful history. Team Lotus died in 1994 but Tony Fernandes has brought it back from death and re-created the spirit and soul of what was great about Team Lotus.

      For the details everyone should read up on the Team / Group split before making up their own mind but there is only one team with the soul of Champman and that’s the one I will be supporting.

      1. Chapman obviously!

    31. One person who has stayed quiet in the Lotus-Lotus-Team-Group-Renault-Renault saga so far is Mr. E. I’m sure Bernie will have something to say about the whole situation eventually. Given his comments about Tony Fernandes’ operation being the only one of the new teams to bring anything positive to F1 in 2010, I wouldn’t write off the Team Lotus project just yet.

      1. Relating to Ecclestone, it’s only because he doesn’t want to say something that might make him an attack target again :( btw I have absolutely nothing to do with the violence towards Mr E :)

    32. Is it only fans of the sport who think this is a ridiculous situation? Why can’t these two groups take a step back, realise they are acting like 5 year olds, and move forward.

      Apart from that, I feel sorry for casual fans of the sport and TV commentators, because commentary is going to be impossible next year. “That’s Kubica in the Lotus Renault GP coming up to lap Trulli in the Team Lotus Renault”. Or if Team Lotus get into the midfield next year “its amazing that Kovalainen in the Team Lotus Renault has managed to split the two Lotus Renault GP cars.”


      1. Now THAT would be some interesting commentary! If, as it’s been predicted, Fernandes’s team makes a big leap next year with Red Bull tech and Lopez’s team slides back with the loss of support from the Renault factory we might see four Lotus Renaults (add hyphens, prefixes and suffixes as needed) dicing for places on track!

    33. May I have your attention please?
      May I have your attention please?
      Will the real Team Lotus please stand up?
      I repeat: will the real Team Lotus please stand up?
      We’re gonna have a problem here …

      1. I’m Team Lotus, I’m the real Team Lotus
        All you other teams Lotus are just imitating…

        1. So won’t the real Team Lotus please stand up?
          Please stand up?
          Please stand up?

          1. With one of those fingers on each hand up…

    34. Dany Bahar – isn’t she the hot TV presenter off of the 1990s?

      1. Hahaha! Perhaps she had a sex change?

    35. Renault’s suspended ban should be put to effect now because with this shenanigan, they are bringing the sport into direpute, and not only that, they are confusing the fans.

      if the ban is served in 2011, it will not cause Renault to leave the championship since it has left it already as a manufacturer… so i advise the FIA to act now, or forever be held responsible for 4 near identical looking cars racing.

      1. They HAVE to now make a clause banning two teams from having similar colour schemes. It’s the only way forward.

    36. Where are sports authorities, FiA, anyone? This is as much damaging to the sport as MM sex scandal, 2009 politics or LH lying to the stewards.
      And its proves how desperate Genii Capital are, to get involved in that fighting between Proton and Fernandes… just to get money. Disgusting. Im not going to support this team next year, even if Kubica remains with them.

    37. I propose a duel to resolve this. Or a fistfight, or something.

      Whatever, the winner gets to keep the Lotus name and the loser has to call his team Team Fartswallop. That should sort it out.

    38. From reading through these commentd I think we’re unanimous in thinking this Lotus situation is an absolute joke.

      Also, those red Total endplates look awful with the black and gold livery….

      1. Thanks for saying it, that livery really looks like someone took maybe 5 minutes of photoshop time to produce something, and his target was “black and gold, but don’t forget about Total – they get the red or our car doesn’t get oil”.

    39. I can only hope that Fiat don’t decide that they also need their own F1 racing team.

      Certainly the 2013 engine regs would be more favourable to Fiat rather than Ferrari.

      But like a non-F1 supporter friend once said when he was looking at a close up of the nose cone of a red F1 car on TV: “I didn’t know that Fiat were in F1!”

      What’s in a name, eh?

      1. Not really the same though as Fiat own Ferrari…which your friend obviously didn’t know.

        1. True. But it’s perception that matters. What people believe. They (casual viewers) know that Ferrari are in F1, but what’s that other red car with the ‘Fiat’ badge on its nose?

          They will possibly (but unlikely IMO) see a Lotus beating a Ferrari next season.

          It also can’t be lost on anyone that Dany Bahar is also Ferrari’s marketing man. Although why he would want to put the Lotus name further up the grid to become serious challengers to Ferrari is beyond me.

          1. That’s exactly because of having been the Ferrari marketing man.
            After they dropped him (kicked him out?) he wants to show them!

          2. Jarred Walmsley
            9th December 2010, 20:57

            Well, if Badoer was still in the Ferrari then we would have had a HRT beating a Ferrari!, so who says its all in the car?

    40. … Hey! Red goes with EVERYTHING!! …

      1. Is that the whole car or just bits of it because there was a lengthy period when red didn’t go with anything.

    41. HounslowBusGarage
      8th December 2010, 13:03

      I am uttely confused and very disappointed.
      How is it that two sets of apparently rational people can be squabbling over the name of once-great-but-later-failing team?
      How is it that F1 manages to knee itself in the groin with such astonishing regularity?

      1. Just one word: Money

        1. Worse – it’s ego. Dany Bahar seems to be very upset that the Lotus name has been accepted back into Formula 1 and that he is not the man responsible for it happening.

          1. He should stick to marketing Ferrari’s, which has to be one of the easiest marketing jobs ever.

            1. He should stick to marketing Ferrari’s, which has to be one of the easiest marketing jobs ever.

              Say, do you have lots of money and no taste?
              Yes? Then here’s the Ferrari for you…


              The only time that Group Lotus were involved with F1 is then they sponsored Team Lotus on the 107C iirc.

              Given some of the things that I’ve heard about Dany Bahar from current and former Lotus employees, I’ll stick with Fernandes thanks.

            2. Say, do you have lots of money and no taste?
              Yes? Then here’s the Ferrari for you…

              Ahahahahaha! So true.

    42. Pretty bad behaviour from Group Lotus. Tony Fernandes had the good graces to consult the Chapman family and they give him their wishes. The whole team did an outstanding job this year and I hope they can give Group Lotus a battering in the courts.

    43. Plus that car looks terrible. The Total sponsorship is doing the livery no favours!


    44. It’s all a big game.

      I don’t believe the FIA will allow the undoubted similarity in colour schemes to get as far as the grid. The Existing “Lotus Team” have already announced their intension to use the JPS colours for 2011. They are even going so far as to hold a competition. I can only hope that common sense will prevail.

      Having said all thet, we are talking about the FIA .

      One last thing… If that paint job has been on the drawing board for two months then good god lad… fire the designer!!

    45. One positive thing that’s getting lost in all this (sorry if someone mentioned already) is that, Renault took their lumps after crash-gate, reassessed their involvement and then, unlike Toyota, Honda and BMW, scaled back gradually, assuring a transition that would have been smooth without the present Lotus fiasco. That’s a commendable level of responsibility and commitment to the sport.

      1. However, unlike Toyota, Honda and BMW, they will still be supplying motive power to teams on the grid, so they still have to be responsible and commited to F1.

        1. Yeah, that’s what I mean, though. Instead of just blindly pulling the plug and flushing their investments and the sport’s image down the tube, they’re still there, and if they do completely pull out eventually, it won’t have been a sudden bail out that does no one any good. If nothing else, it’s better and more responsible business practices than those other guys.

    46. As has been mentioned in previous articles on this subject, where are Lotus cars getting their money as they seem to want to race in several different motor series when bigger manufactures are scaling back their involvement and Lotus Cars themselves are not supposed to be making money either?

      I guess with Team Lotus using Renault engines next year this will mean that Lotus Cars have the leverage to win the naming battle.

      1. As has been mentioned in previous articles on this subject, where are Lotus cars getting their money…

        ANSWER: Malaysian Taxpayers

      2. I would rather say, that Renault will be supplying their main team, the world championship team RBR as well as their sold off F1 team and Team Lotus with equal equipment.
        Sure Renault will possibly want some presence in Proton and use it’s capacities to build their cars. And they might have options on taking over the complete thing in the future. But Goshn would only do that, if they start to actually stop losing money bigtime.

    47. Great!
      At least the off-season is going to be interesting now, it started out pretty boring ;)

    48. I’m waiting for the inevitable ‘Honda claims rights to Mercedes team’ news, breaking any day now.

    49. This is absolutely pathetic even though we knew it was coming; I don’t see why Renault are allowed to use the Black & Gold livery (hopefully there will be a ban on similar liveries between two or more different teams).

    50. “we are Lotus and we are back.”

      No, You are the Proton owned group Lotus headed by an ex Ferrari emplyee.

      Lotus returned last year. Under Fernandes.

      1. but thats the Racing entity. the deal with Renault is with the manufacturer.

    51. pity.. I really liked the jordanesque color scheme. And I really can’t seem to understand the use of gold & black scheme of JPS without the sponsor.

    52. Its fine with Red Bull’s two teams because one is Red Bull in Italian (as they bought an Italian team and didn’t want this problem to occur) and they both have distinct liveries from each other, whereas the Lotus and Renault teams (as known in 2010) will have nearly identical liveries and team names.

      This will devalue both Lotus and Renault from the JPS days beyond belief; also it will encourage people to smoke JPS :( :S

      1. Only if the Ferrari barcode/white box/red patch on the engine cover encouraged people to smoke Marlboros :D

        On the serious, it really does devalue some of the greatest cars of the ’70s and ’80s. For that reason alone, neither team should use the JPS colours.

    53. okay this is stupid, and damn right petty if im honest..

    54. Why Lotus have separate entities in that matter? After all they have the same effect: to merchandise the Lotus brand.

      But if I’m not mistaken, it should be Proton-Renault and 1Malaysia Team Lotus-Renault…or so :S

    55. I am not really getting it, it’s so confusing,why do they need to share the same name? Why can’t they do what Red Bull did. Name the British Team as Lotus & the Malaysian one as Lotus in Malaysia as they did with Torro Rosso.

      1. They are completely separate companies. Torro Rosso and Red Bull are both owned by Red Bull.

        Group Lotus looks after road cars, Team Lotus raced in F1 until 1994 when it went out of business. Group Lotus (owned by Proton) has never raced in F1.

    56. So if Renault no longer has anything to do with the old Renault team (Now Lotus Group) are they going to have to pay Renault for thier engines, just like Team Lotus will?

      Is there any chance that Renault could pull out of one engine deal with one of the Lotus teams thus solving some of the problem?

      Team Lotus didnt have my backing this time last year, but they have done an amazing job of building fan loyalty this year that I was converted mid season and will continue to support Fernandes team in the future.

      1. This is definately not over, but as much as I hate to say it, I think in the long run Fernandes will lose out which is a real shame.

        If I was him, I would start looking at another classic name from the past (Brabham perhaps?) and keep hold of the rights to the Team Lotus name, never use it and never sell them to Group Lotus however much money is offered.

        1. Neither Renault nor Lotus Racing will want to lose Constructors championship winnings by changing their names and neither of them can do so without a unanimous vote from the other teams.

          Lotus racing have already voted against Renault changing its name to Lotus-Renault. So that’s a none-starter to begin with.

          1. You will have already noted that Lotus Racing are currently now called Team Lotus in the FIAs 2011 team entry list.

        2. Brabham would be very interesting. That would clearly show who Bernie is backing.

          On the other hand, Bernie bidded together with Genii owner Lopez to buy Saab, so they know eachother pretty well.

    57. This is going beyond anything. This is really ridiculous, I hope Lotus Cars don’t end up making such a shame of themselves.

    58. 2010 was the first time I started liking and cheering for Renault. I wanted to Kubica to be on the podium and I loved the yellow n black livery.
      I hate Lotus-Renault now(not the tony lotus-renault).
      2011 will be confusing for me. I m not sure if i shoul cheer 4 Kubica or should abuses at that team. :(
      hope the other 4 teams take the focus off these 2 teams.
      IMHO, Tony deserves credit for bringing lotus to where it is right now, wat lotus is doing is jus cheap.

      1. +1 Why didn’t Lotus Cars back the Lotus Racing team? Absolute IDIOTS!

        1. I think its jus an ego issue.
          However, The Renault-Lotus of kubica will surely be ahead in the race.
          It ll be sad to see that Tony puts all the effort but these guys come in with a lot of cash, do nothin n stil be ahead. :(

    59. Renault will NOT become Lotus-Renault next season — they will remain Renault. McLaren aren’t know as Vodafone-McLaren, are they, or Ferrari as Ferrari-Marlboro? The only two Lotus-Renaults on the grid will be Tny Fernandes’ cars… assuming he hasn’t sold out to Group Lotus.

      1. I meant to say that there is a significant difference in the name of the cars — Red Bull-Renault, McLaren-Mercedes, Renault, Lotus-Renault — and the entrant name — Red Bull Racing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus respectively.

    60. interesting that the Lotus badge on the front is a “Lotus” badge, and not the ‘Proton/Lotus – “we own it”‘ claimed “Team Lotus” badge.

      Still a mockery. Keep the damn yellow & Black.

      1. I actually liked the yellow and black :(

    61. Dany Bahar has done us a favour. Never felt better about our future and Team Lotus. Looks like [they’re] trying to hijack our black and gold idea.
      Tony Fernandes

      Since when was a Black and Gold Lotus your idea Tony?, I’m in full support of what your trying to do but the livery was never your idea, you hijacked it from Team Lotus JPS.

      While this does not dissuade me from F1, I find it rather annoying, Danny Bahar, stop this sillyness right now!, Renault, instead of putting 100 million to side with Bahar why don’t you invest that money in making a new engine?… seriously Renault sort it out, you don’t want to spend a lot of money so don’t spend it on a stupid business marketing venture, instead spend it on something you can see a return on for the next few years…like you know, the engine and KERS?

    62. okay can someone just flip a coin and we can get it over with?

      but actually, it will be fun to watch 2 teams that look identical, but are at each others throughts..

      1. throats*

    63. Matt90 Your spot on mate.

      But who the hell sprayed the mirrors and side planes on this new one?

      Was there a competition I didnt hear about to design a way to make the best livery ever look s**t??!!!

      Maybe the whole team SHOULD vanish.

    64. let they sattle it
      sport or business
      u can buy

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