Team Lotus revert to green and yellow livery for 2011

2011 F1 season

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Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Interlagos, 2010

Lotus will not change to a black-and-gold livery in 2011, according to Tony Fernandes.

The team principal stated on Twitter the team will stick with its green and yellow colour scheme next year:

After lots of thought. The shareholders, Riad [Asmat] and Mike [Gascoyne] have decided we will stay with green and yellow for next season. Silly to have four black and gold cars.

With Formula One going green what better to have green. Also to many negative comments on cigarettes.
Tony Fernandes

Team Lotus had run a competition for fans to design a black and gold livery for the 2011 season.

But earlier this week Renault announced its deal with Group Lotus and revealed plans to use a black and gold colour scheme for 2011.

The two outfits are still in dispute over the use of the name ‘Lotus’.

Update: According to Mike Gascoyne the team will still produce a black and gold ‘show car’:

Tony saying we may stay with the green and yellow. To all those who entered the black and gold logo competition don’t worry, we will paint a show car in the winning colours come what may.
Mike Gascoyne

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    69 comments on “Team Lotus revert to green and yellow livery for 2011”

    1. Go Team Lotus! I think their livery was great in 2010 and glad to see them keep it. Once Group Lotus go bust, Team Lotus can then show-off the Black and Gold (although I do like the Group Lotus livery for 2011).

      1. Great Marketing going on here.

        They tricked the Entstone squad into “copying” their Gold/Black livery. Got the Fans even more hooked by having the design competition and the colour poll.
        And now they are looking good to do the reasonable thing with the livery! And a nice quip about going green as well.
        Hats off to you Tony, Mike and the rest.

        1. Least we get to see the Black and Gold version. I think the Enstone livery looks good, but not great, maybe it’ll grow on me! :D

          1. Don’t forget – that’s just a Renault R30 done up in Lotus colours. The Renault R31 will likely be a different a different beast. When Mercedes first presented its drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were on-scene with a Brawn BGP-001 painted in the Mercedes’ livery. The Mercedes MGP W01 was a completely different car that the livery was much better-suited to.

        2. I don’t think this is marketing at all. Team Lotus is best-known for the black and gold livery; it’s a natural extension of using the Team Lotus name. I’m now beginning to believe that both Group Lotus and Team Lotus came up with the idea independently. There was no “tricking” the other team into doing anything – Fernandes is just doing what is best for his team.

          1. I suspect you are both right… I don’t think the initial move by Team Lotus to move to the black and gold JPS livery was done as a trap…

            However I think when Group Lotus announced it was doing the same thing they opened the door for Fernandes to take a step back and give them a good kicking whilst looking like the good guy.

            All in all I think Proton/ Bahar/ Group Lotus have made a huge mess out of this and I really hope that they don’t end up ruining 2 good teams for the sake of their egos. The time they should have objected was before Lotus took to the track, before they got the support of the Chapmans and before they won a huge amount of love in the sport and with its fans by being the best of the new teams and by being open and honest with us.

    2. Well there you go, I’m actually glad, I’m not from the generation that saw the JPS cars race, and the green / yellow livery is actually very easy on the eyes… very British too.

      That said it’s a shame it seems like they’re bowing down to “Renault” or whatever they’re calling themselves… regardless, I know who the real Lotus team are, and they’re not based in Enstone.

      1. Eh, I still think Group come out of this looking the worse, they copy the colour scheme, Team is adult about it and sticks with a pretty damn iconic livery. Meh to Group.

        1. How do you know GL copied the livery, this is quite popular myth but it was contrary AFAIK.
          I don’t sympathise with Fernandes for the way he’s fooling people and fans of Lotus legend, though I say GL using livery of the team they claim they are not trying to emulate is confusing.

          1. But like Scribe says, Lotus Group does look like the fools here (great communication by Team Lotus) regardless of weather they planned on going with Gold/Black before Team Lotus announced it.

            1. Really, the JPS livery was not that long lasting, and I am old enough to always feel the ‘proper’ Lotus livery is the green and gold (or, yellow, as some say).

              After all, Clark and Hill raced in these colours. And they were my first heroes. :)

            2. The green and yellow was only used by Lotus in F1 from 1958-1968, they used the JPS livery from 1972 to 1986 (from Fittipaldi through Andretti to Senna).

          2. This annoys me, The competition for fans to design the black and gold JPS livery for Team Lotus in 2011 was announced a long time before it was announced that Renault were going to be named Lotus. Not only that, but when the green and gold livery for Tony’s Lotus was announced, we also learnt that they would use another historical livery, the black and gold, next year.

            Maybe they didn’t see team lotus’ idea and say hmm, lets copy them.
            But they did see team lotus’ idea, and it didn’t stop them from announcing they were doing the same thing.

            Imagine if they had decided on using red!
            Ferrari would not stand for it. And neither, would anyone else.

    3. i am nobody to tell mr fernandez how to run his business. But my impression is that he is giving free publicity to someone elses brand.
      He is a succesfull bussinesman, and has a beautifull airline that needs all the promotion it can get.
      Air asia f1 team, would work from my humble point of view.
      And i almost forgot, welcome to the piranha club.

      1. That’s what Renault were doing by calling their team Renault as well, though…

    4. Funny Tweet. Not he can’t have the Black and Gold he’s basically saying “Well green is better anyway, Black and Gold was a silly idea”

      1. He can have the black and gold. He just chose not to, because it would just get messy. I think they’ve been sensible and professional, unlike Group Lotus.

        1. Obviously HE CAN’T, but he won’t admit it. If he could he would use it. The only reasonable thing to say now for him is “ok, so green and yellow is cool anyway, and our fans didn’t like the black and gold idea bla bla” and keep playing his role of victim and champion of justice and honor in people’s eyes.

          1. Yes HE COULD, as long as it wasn’t the same as Renault’s livery.

            Personally I prefer the Green and Yellow anyway and totally agree that a mock JPS livery has the negative connection to a cigarette brand.

            1. Think logically: If he was the first one to make such idea of going black and gold (and as I recall, he was first), he would have the right to use it and in order to not confuse the cars on the track even more, Renault would have think of something else. As far as I can remember, change of livery can’t be decided only by the team, someone else has to agree… and that “someone” probably didn’t…


              Smells like someone from FOM told Fernandes in his face, that Bahar’s Lotus is the preferred one (bigger Malaysian money!). Don’t be surprised if Fernandes’ team doesn’t make it to Bahrain as Lotus.

              He’s simply losing the fight of Malaysian businessmen.

            2. Not actually true, we’ve had some very confusingly simular livery’s over the years, there’s absoulutley nothing in the regs or anywhere stating that Fernandes couldn’t have the livery he said he’d have a few months ago.

              Maybe the smoking jibes are a bit childish in retrospect but hey, I never liked this idea in the first place. Glad fake Lotus continues to grasp and look silly while Team Lotus, continues to carry out there buisness with the pride and dignity we’ve come to expect from the people who’ve won over the f1 community in their reserection of one of the all time great F1 teams.

            3. The fans don’t want black and gold either: The other day Gascoyne ran a poll which came out 77% in favour of green and yellow.

              I’m pretty sure he could have black and gold if he wanted it – just look at Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

            4. @Cyclops, this isn’t a school-yard – who thought of it first doesn’t count for anything.

              All I believe the rules require is that a team’s livery is unique (ie: not identical to another team’s).

              As others have pointed out, Red Bull Racing and Torro Rosso have quite similar liveries. What about when Midland had a very similar colour scheme to Mclaren?

              Hell, a team could field a car that was mainly red as long as they did something to distinguish their cars from the Ferraris…though I suspect Ferrari would kick up one almighty fuss about that one.

          2. Cylcops,

            At least you are able to understand that Fernandes is merely playing the role of an innocent victim. But it seems he has fooled many fans who blindly support him without analysing the facts.

            The truth is Tony Fernandes has NO connection with Lotus, so there’s NO WAY he can expect us to believe his team is a reincarnation of Colin Chapman’s legendary outfit just because he has the name “Team Lotus.” Let’s face it – of the two Group Lotus is the only entity that has any relation to the original team and family. That is the REAL Lotus. Fernandes can’t fool me by his innocent make-believe talk.

            His team is on the upward trend for sure and they’ve done a marvelous job of being the top of the new teams, but Fernandes can’t expect us to look at it as the reincarnation of the team that ran Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson, Ayrton Senna and others. That credit should, if one sees with unbiased eyes, go to Group Lotus as the Chapman family is still connected with it. Autosport gave an apt description of Group Lotus Renault in its latest cover – The Real Lotus is Back.

            Besides, black and gold certainly looks more appealing than green and yellow, to me at least. And one has to praise Bahar’s ambition and desire for motorsport. For the first time we’ll have a team in F1, IndyCar, GP2, GP3 and Le Mans Series.

            The arrival of Group Lotus to F1 is such a great news piece but so many have been misled with Fernandes’ talk that they have just voiced disgruntled opinions. I just can’t understand. Talk is cheap, they say, but it certainly misleads many and politicizes the situation. Fernandes has won that war.

            He could have named his team AirAsia or 1Malaysia. He can’t come from anywhere and call himself Lotus when a closer entity is around. He hitched a ride on the Lotus name for marketing purposes. But I see that plan will backfire once Lotus Renault begins to really grow and develop and start winning.

            I’d really like Fernandes’ team succeeding and winning but his savoury businessman talk is plain irritating. Anyway it’s actions that speak louder than words. Let’s see how both the Lotuses perform in 2010. Rember, things can change quickly in F1 and even Bahar’s enthusiasm can’t be taken to be permanent.

            1. CarsVsChildren
              12th December 2010, 6:11

              Dany Bahar is that you?

            2. You seem to forget that all Danny Bahar has done is slap the ‘Lotus’ name on a team that (if you trace back through its different owners) was once Toleman, one of Lotus’ competitors in the 80s. Group Lotus has as little to do with the origninal Lotus as Team Lotus do, which is very little. It also seems a bit strange for two big car companies to sponsor/be heavily involved with one team (lotus and renault). It’s almost like the BMW Sauber Ferrari mess of 2010 but with two teams…

            3. You have no idea what you are talking about! I think this must be Danny Bahaar!!

            4. snap!! :) Danny Bahar is a live and online

            5. @F1Alex… the first thing I would say, is that Lotus are putting money in to Enstone, which counts for a lot more than ‘slapping’ a name on a team. They’re investing in the company, the people, the PR direction etc. They’re shaping the public face of the outfit.

              TF has basically bought the name and ‘slapped’ it on the team. The Lotus Group didn’t put any money in as far as I’m aware.

              So of the two teams, Bahar is right, Lotus Renault have more rights to the Lotus name as they are actually the genuine Lotus Group marque.

              Personally, I think Lotus Renault (black) is an awesome combination, and I hope Team Lotus(green) continue to do well.

              However I do feel they are the guys that are putting out the negative vibes and not Lotus Group (black), which for me, as a fan of Team Lotus (green) is a bit souring. I wish they would just be quiet on that front and get on with it.

    5. Bad move. Now that Fernandes has backed down, this sets a precedent and ‘The Team Previously Known As Renault’ will now think they can now get their way by using bully tactics again in the future. Tony Fernandes is one of the only guys who has actually brought some personality and charisma into the sport in recent years and It would be a shame to see him forced into a corner.

    6. Lotus shmotus…..Just call them Proton…

      1. they could have called themselves proton.. it seems the only reason they called themselves lotus was to **** off the rest of the grid..

        eh, protonF1 would have been a great team.. almost as good as HyundaiF1

    7. Team Lotus 0 – 1 Lotus Renault

      I love how he takes the moral highground by saying he’s doing it because the Black+Gold is unethical because of it’s relation to cigarettes.

      Still, I quite like green F1 cars and it will ease the situation for F1 commentators!!

      Did anyone see the photoshopped Twitter messages between Tony Fernandes and Renault?


      realtonyfernandes: our renault powered F1 car next year will be black and gold like the JPS Lotus Renault from the 1970s!

      officialrenaultf1: that’s a good idea Tony! :)

      realtonyfernandes: cheers! :)

      dannybaharforreal: Yeah it’s a really good idea Tony!!

      genuinelotusrenaultf1: Renault to race in 2011 as Lotus Renault. New livery will be black and gold: >>Twitpic of the new livery<<

      realtonyfernandes: Dirty %#¥+@!!!

      1. but the jps idea was originally a renault idea :P


            Lopez: “It’s interesting because ever since we began discussions we had the idea to run in black and gold and then it kind of leaked through the press and the paddock – and then three days later they [Team Lotus] were announcing they were doing black and gold,” he told the Telegraph.

            1. It’s one person’s word against another’s…when it comes to who thought of something first there’s not really any way to prove it.

              And the rumours had been going around about Team Lotus running in black and gold well before they officially announced it.

            2. @ Aramis
              Lopez is right. See this entry on Jean-Louis Moncet blog:
              This was about GP Brazil and first public leaks about Group Lotus and Renault F1. The point is that was unofficial because GL wasn’t confirming any talks until final agreement.
              Then compare the date of that post with the tweet from Gascoyne saying about their idea for black and gold (soon after that weekend).
              Fans are naive to suck everything that Ferandes is claiming.

            3. @ d-d

              You got it, I read it on Jean-Louis Moncet’s blog first as well, and then came Tony’s announcement a few days later. Fernandes plays the victim but I think some of us know better, he is anything but.

    8. Distancing themselves from the renault team is a good idea, though it wouldn’t suprise me if Bahar suddenly decides to go the green and yellow route…

      I hope Mike produces a gem of a car nonetheless.

    9. Quite happy their keeping Green & Yellow. Black & Gold would have been nice if a copycat wasnt doing the same but theres always next year. Besides, they can make Green & Yellow their own and its very distinctive for viewers to be able to see them. 2 teams running Gold & Black at the same time, would be embarressing and do noone any favours. I think Team Lotus are keeping the Green & Yellow and saving face, as it just leaves [Group]Lotus-Renault looking a bit silly, sporting colours in homage to a historical team they have nothing to do with.

    10. Green and yellw looks better than black and gold

    11. I feel sorry for them as it is like they’ve been forced into it. That said, Lotus (this Lotus anyway) do seem to take into account what the fans want which is great to see as apparently on they had a poll and green was the fans’ favourite.

      The car this year did look like a giant lump of mushy peas so I wasn’t exactly a fan of the colour but I do love having some variety on the grid.

      1. Feel free to call them Team Lotus, that’s what the FIA teamsheet calls them (for now anyway). ;)

    12. I’m pleased with this announcement. If nothing else, keeping last year’s livery will make it clear to viewers that Team continues on from 2010. Group, meanwhile, are stuck with a turkey of an ugly cigarette advert livery with red endplates. Although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Group back-peddles again.

    13. Good news I was quite dissapointed when they said they would change to black and gold as I rather liked the green and yellow. Hopefully they will have a better looking chassis to paint it on next year

      1. Yeah, right from the start of the season I really liked the green and yellow look and was sad to see it go. Although, I’d rather they have a better WORKING chassis to paint it on next season!

        1. If they want to win races, then a WOKING chassis would be good for them. ;)

    14. I thought the smoking jibe was quite catty and I don’t for a second believe that he didn’t know the possible connection.

      What I do believe though, is Lopez when he says Renault came up with the black and gold concept for 2011 months ago, it leaked in the paddock and then Fernandes said he was running black and gold a few days later.

      So you know, sometimes it’s worth digging a little deeper in these things.

      Why Fernandes wants to provide free advertising for Lotus is another story altogether, reminds me of a guy that has been dumped and can’t let go and keeps pining for his lost love. I say man up, dust yourself off and start a new adventure, no one likes being rejected, but nothing worse than watching a man who can’t take it or get the message.

    15. FIA should ban “Tobacco liveries” or ones that promote tobacco now, escpecially as Marlboro are no longer on the Ferrari and to avoid Lotus Renault GP (formerly Renault) using a livery that promotes JPS.

      1. They might…

      2. Already tobacco advertising being illegal in almost all countries over the world having ratified WHO tobacco treaty and Marlboro colour advertising scheme (even erased the bar-code after this year dispute) arguably breaking the treaty as literally interpreted, Police hasn’t arrested the Scuderia Ferrari team manager in the grand prix.

        Very strange.

      3. It’s only the cars though, all the overalls still have ‘the Barcode’ at FerraRI.

      4. They’re not actually associated with JPS anymore, so banning Lotus colours on the grounds it remind some people of a brand colour livery some 25+ years ago, well, it’s just absurd.

        Ferrari are partners with Marlboro, and they had a Symbol akin to a subconscious logo on the car. However they still have the logo everywhere else! Helmet, overalls, garage. That’s a very different deal to a 25 year old colour scheme.

        1. No you are completely wrong. The fact that JPS tobacco are not paying for this advertisement of their brand is insignificant. By using the black and gold livery they will be giving JPS tobacco free media coverage even if that is not their intention (JPS itself have said it is advertising their brand). This is illegal in almost all the grand prix countries and I would be very suprised if the goverments of these countries do not act to force Proton to change its livery.

          Also I don’t think you’ll be seeing the marlboro barcode on team clothing or anywhere else in 2011. Its not so easy to take logos off clothing which is why it remained there in 2010, just like ING remained on the Renault clothing after they left mid 2009.

          1. The fact that JPS tobacco are not paying for this advertisement of their brand is insignificant.

            I do understand the point that you and everyone else is making. I just disagree with it. Why should I be deprived a great looking car when it harks back to something 25 years ago. Get over it. It’s like my mother punishing me for nicking cookies from the cookie jar. It’s 25 years ago, I personally, don’t care.

            Its not so easy to take logos off clothing which is why it remained there in 2010

            Utter rubbish. Sticking some tape, cloth, or paint over logos is extremely difficult for a super rich company in the business of advanced technology? Where they can knock up a new livery at late notice for a special sponsor who arrives on the scene. Be real. This is the industry of ‘where there is the will, there is a way’. If they wanted to, they could. The will wasn’t there at Ferrari (obviously), and the will to push them wasn’t either from the FIA.

    16. JPS wasn’t that great a livery and would have/will look a bit pants on today’s F1 cars. Renault’s concept was better than the photoshops I’ve seen of Team Lotus anyway.

      1. It’s a professional design team against what is usually 1 guy entering the contest.

        Like this :)

    17. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy!

    18. CarsVsChildren
      12th December 2010, 0:21

      Does anyone else get the impression that this is one giant game of chess?

      I have no evidence for this whatsoever, but is it not possible that Fernandes has pulled a fast one here?

      I think it is possible that he knew the JPS brand was still for sale, and that painting the cars those colors would raise the ire of the thought police, creating negative publicity for his despised rivals.

      So he pressured ProtonLotus into making an announcement, and then quickly retreated back to British Racing Green and Gold, therefore making himself look like the pragmatist/ bigger man.

      Has anyone actually seen a valid reason for them painting their car black and gold anyway? He basically explains it by saying “we thought we would run the cars in a different color this year” Rubbish. The man is a marketing genius and he knows you do not build up a brand by switching the logos and colors every 12 months.

      However if it was a part of a plan to get ProtonLotus into trouble, well played squire.

    19. Sticking with the Green and Yellow means that the casual fan will associate Fernandes’ team as the first Lotus of this era. Group Lotus, by choosing a colour scheme that is fresh on the grid will appear to be the copycats.

    20. How do you enter the Lotus racing livery/logo competion?
      I’ve got a design but don’t know what to do?
      Thanks to anyone who responds.

    21. One sensible call in this whole matter, since having four cars in the same livery would have been very confusing, or even could have suggested closer ties between the two teams to the more or less uninformed outsider that there apparently are going to be. Now, at least both teams have made their intentions clear to call back to different eras of the original team.

    22. Please, how do you enter the Lotus Racing livery competion? Or has it already finished?

    23. On the subject of the Lotus argument, i’d like to say that to me the true lotus team is Tony Fernandes’ one because they haven’t been childish over liveries like Lotus Renault, what would Colin Chapman of thought about Group Lotus?

      1. Wait a minute, so Team Lotus copy Group Lotus on the black/gold, Team Lotus start a competition they don’t finish, Team Lotus backtrack on the livery and then Team Lotus try and stir up tobacco controversy under the black/gold livery and somehow you think Group Lotus are the childish ones?

        Well that’s a bit rich.

    24. I enjoy seeing green on the grid. I’m glad.

    25. Going with the Green and Yellow is the right decision.

      The only reason Chapman went with the iconic black and gold (which I still love) is because it paid the bills.
      I think Tony, Gascoyne and the Team has done a wonderful job bringing my team back to the grid and I’m absolutely thrilled.

      I’d be perfectly happy with AirAsia colors or another major sponsor, that said Green and Gold looks great!

      Group Lotus is just interested in an advertising vehicle – nothing else. They have no soul and while I was previously inclined to some day own a Lotus I’m not so sure anymore.

    26. Names-wise people will go with what the commentators say:
      If nothing is settled by the start of the season I reckon Brundle (+ whoever is his sidekick) will call Team Lotus – Lotus, and Group Lotus – Renault.

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