Trulli: Lotus row "embarrassing and surreal"

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Team Lotus driver Jarno Trulli says that having two teams carrying the Lotus name is ’embarrassing and surreal’.


F1 bringing in too many changes, Trulli says (Reuters)

"Team Lotus driver Jarno Trulli says too many changes have been brought into Formula One for 2011 and that having two teams carrying the Lotus name is “embarrassing and surreal”.

"’There are too many new things, from aerodynamics to tyres to KERS. We talk about saving money but each year the rules change, people don’t understand, it becomes less of a show,’ the 36-year-old Italian told Sunday’s Gazzetta Sportiva newspaper."

Formula 1 teams in slow lane over bills (The Daily Mail)

"Being fast on the track is no guarantee that speed will be involved when it comes to paying bills.

"Red Bull Racing, which won last year’s Formula 1 drivers’ and constructors’ titles, was the only racing outfit to pay its suppliers on time, according to a report by business information firm Dun & Bradstreet."

New Red Bull on target for first test (Autosport)

"Red Bull Racing is on course to have its new car ready for the first official test at Valencia on February 1."

The Fastest Ferrari on Water (Viva F1)

"While racing has allowed car manufacturers to demonstrate their engineering skill and provided a way for a long-line of sportsmen to get their thrills for over a hundred years, a similar technological struggle has taken place on water where endurance racing and a quest for speed records have been pursued. As car engines became more powerful and finely tuned during the 1930s, those same power-units became attractive to designers of competition boats.

"With competitive marine racing, like its land-based cousin, fuelled by publicity and advertising, top manufacturers of their day such as Maserati and Alfa Romeo were keen to jump on board. Both teamed up with Italian boat racers in a quest for more speed and national pride, supplying retired race engines."

Italian suits for Kobayashi and P??rez (Sauber)

"A "P1" displayed on his pit board tells a racing driver that he’s leading. And P1 is also the name of the new Italian brand whose safe, stylish and comfortable driver overalls will be worn by the Sauber F1 Team drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio P??rez in the forthcoming 2011 season."

Some key trends to look out for when F1 testing starts (James Allen on F1)

"The start of F1 testing is just 23 days away and most of the teams are flat out getting their first chassis built. It’s an exciting time but also a nervous one.

"From talking to a number of teams this last week they all share an anxiety that one of their rivals might have come up with a silver bullet, this year’s equivalent of the F Duct – a must-have aero device which gives a good few tenths of a second advantage and all must copy."

Not ‘Right Time’ For Karthikeyan At Force India – Mallya (Speed)

"Vijay Mallya insists he is ‘delighted’ there will be an Indian driver in F1 this year even though it ‘wasn’t the right time’ for Force India to sign Narain Karthikeyan."

Narain Karthikeyan thanks fans for support (narainracing via Twitter)

"Huge thanks to @TheVijayMallya for his kind words on for his kind words about me. I really appreciate the good wishes.

"And also to all my fans all over the world. Thanks a tonne for the blessings and good wishes. You guys spur me on to do well. My fans are the best."

Comment of the day

Vicky is going to the Turkish Grand Prix and has some questions – can anybody help?

Hello, me and my boyfriend are going to the Turkish Grand Prix 2011 – it will be my first race and I cannot wait!

Has anybody who has been before ever rented a car? What are the driving conditions like? We are staying in a hotel near the blue mosque but neither of us has been to Istanbul before. We have looked at previous reviews and don’t really fancy the trip on the bus. Car rental companies are charging about 200 to rent a car for 4 days so are considering doing this.

Also does anybody know if there are any driver autograph sessions on any of the days?

Read more: 2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion

From the forum

This week’s Official F1Fanatic PS3 World Championship (aka The Collantine Cup) was dramatic.

Provisional results are in: damonsmedley has been awarded the win, but only by 0.7 seconds on AUS_Steve following his 10 second penalty.

In the words of Magnificent Geoffrey:

Full race results and Championship standings will be posted early next week, after the World Virtual Motorsports Council meets and determines whether to overturn the Stewards’ decision.
Magnificent Geoffrey

Site updates

There have been some updates to the Twitter directory and the Twitter app today:

  • Added Narain Karthikeyan to ‘HRT’
  • Added Mario Andretti and Taki Inoue to ‘Former F1 Drivers’
  • Added Nurburgring to ‘Other F1 accounts’
  • Changed account details for Jenson Button, Jaime Alguersuari, Lotus and Renault

Happy birthday!

A big happy birthday to Cameron, SamS and Nano Rock!

On this day in F1

On this day in 2008, it was announced that Giancarlo Fisichella would drive for Force India, alongside Adrian Sutil.

Fisichella’s signing was the final addition the 2008 driver line-up.

Read more: 2008 driver line-up almost set as Fisichella joins Force India

104 comments on “Trulli: Lotus row "embarrassing and surreal"”

  1. I think the whole lotus debacle is bloody ridiculous. They really should have to sort it before the season starts. At present it seems the FIA/FOM have said almost nothing on the matter.

    1. There’s a simple solution: Team Lotus should relent. They’ve lost the support of the Chapman family, and a lot of fans are upset that their latest round of PR stuff has them claiming Team Lotus’ heritage as thei own. Lotus Cars, on the other hand, cannot back down because they’ve already invested in Reanult.

      1. That was the point I stopped caring, an I guess the point where Fernandes made his first big PR mistake. Didn’t think he’d misjudge the fans seperation of Team Lotus and Lotus Racing.

        Neither can truly back down though, Fernandes is in far to deep to back away now. If anything Lotus is in a better position to back down, but they’re still doing this insanity with Bahar. Wouldn’t be too suprised if the second great Chapman marque goes bankrupt now.

        1. An interesting comment from one journalist (sure it was J. Saward, I think) is, that that press release from the Chapmans was explicitly published not to be noticed all to much.
          Its target being to secure the family “Classic Team Lotus” bussiness regardless of how the legal row gets settled.

      2. There’s an even simpler solution, how about Team Lotus keep the naming rights and trademarks that they have legally aquired? At least until a court rules differently.

        When you say Fernandes should “relent”, you of course mean roll-over.

        Group Lotus never had anything to do with Team Lotus, and not everyone here appreciates their crude and thuggish attempt at a land-grab.

        There is a big difference between “losing” support of the Chapmans and having it bribed and bullied out from under you. Anyone that was paying attention saw exactly what transpired there.

        Rehearsing Bahar PR lines is easy; drawing a line in the sand and saying, hold-on, right is right, old-fashioned principles and ethics do actually still mean something, and I refuse to be pushed around, that kinda takes backbone.

        Bullies of course only like playing with a stacked deck, Mosley, Briatore, Bahar, so it quickly gets expensive and messy to stand your ground. Most people would of course understand if Fernandes renamed it AirAsia and was done with it, but it’d be another ugly nail in the coffin of F1 integrity if he felt he had to.

        I fail to see any scope for any confusion here, as it stands, one car is 100% a Team Lotus, and one car is 75% a Genii Capital, but is officially labelled as a Renault. That all seems simple enough to me.

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          10th January 2011, 8:41

          Feynman – THANK YOU! a concise explanation of the situation AS IT IS. I

        2. Hear hear.

          I happen to think Bahar is a fairly nasty piece of work, but if I’m honest the Chapman family are going even lower; they have nothing to do with all this. They sold the rights to “Team Lotus” to Hunt, who has sold them to Fernandes.

          Now, Fernandes claiming his “Team Lotus” is the same as the old Team Lotus is a bit disingenuous – it’s like me growing a moustache and claiming to be Mansell’s long lost son – and calling last year’s car T129 was pushing it. But he 100% has the right to do so and Bahar’s bullying is ridiculous.

          On another note, does anyone else think Trulli sounds like a grumpy old man these days? “All this change, change, it won’t never come to no good you know…”

        3. If it wasn’t for Fernandes, Lotus Cars wouldn’t have entered F1 buying Renault, not knowing the profits they could earn.

          1. jimscreechy (@)
            10th January 2011, 23:37

            I agree Fixy… hmmm, I’m begining to sound like a bit of a ‘yes man’

      3. Only that is not true.

        Legally Fernandez bought the Team Lotus of old, and therefore has a right to the name.

        And Lotus Cars/Group Lotus is ONLY a sponsor of the Genii owned Renault team at the time (Genii now have 100% after buying Renaults shares). Sure they have the intention of getting in, but did not do that yet.

        1. He bought THE NAME, not the heritage. The link between the great Team Lotus of the past and the brand name which Hunt owned and sold to Fernandes was cut in 1994 when the team ceased to exist. Accept the fact that Fernandes owns nothing more than a name tag which he tries to attach to his 1Malaysia team trying to convince the world the it always been there.

          Ridiculously enough some fans got this weird disease infecting their brains, called PR, which tells them to forget that Fernandes and Lotus Racing aka Team Lotus exists for just one year and has neither the people, nor the heritage nor the placement of the original and true Team Lotus.

          The only thing the pushes this madness on is ego of couple of businessmen and lust for money which comes with Lotus’ heritage. Tony just doesn’t want to let go his super effective marketing tool and that’s all.

          1. He bought the name being a business, business comes with assets including history regardless of who it was gained by. You wouldn’t write off Tesco if someone new bought it tomorrow so I don’t see the difference.

            A year ago Fernandes had the full support of Group Lotus, the Chapman Family, the fans etc and now because he’s bought the official name for Team Lotus he’s no longer doing right?!

            I think Group Lotus pulling the plug on Fernandes’ 5 year naming license is wrong by itself – for them to then go and sponsor Renault is downright rude (all because they want to secure a good engine supply deal for their Proton brand)

            If the stories are true and Group Lotus never had any right to Team Lotus then I guess we could see a heavily sponsored Renault change livery after the high court case and I for one really hope it goes that way

            Big corporates rule the world – they need to be put in their place once in a while

          2. What’s McLaren but a name tag? etc. etc. etc.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Trulli, I kind of feel sorry for him and Heikki. Jarno was performing well with Toyota before they gave up. Now he’s stuck with a team that is trying to claim the Team Lotus legacy without any connection to the car company (whose team isn’t trying to, apart from the livery) and has seen the Chapmans switch allegiance after that poor video.

    I’d say neither is the real “Team Lotus” but Lotus Cars want to create their own history as Lotus-Renault whereas Lotus Racing is just desperate to cling onto Classic Team Lotus’ legacy.

    1. I had written a fairly long response post to this but I deleted it, instead I’ll repeat what I said on the forum.

      Neither is Team Lotus, but meh, who honnestly cares, personally group lotus are the more outrageous, an Team Lotus seem the nicer bunch but there all corporate sharks really.

      What really matters are the people that build the cars, take them to the tracks an then participaite in the racing of them.

      Thats this sport called Formula 1, it’s really great.

      1. “They’re all corporate sharks really”

        Absolutely. I find it hard to have sympathy for either side when the reality is they’re both just trying to make a load of money.

        Joe Saward reckons Tony Fernandes’ aim from the start was to take control of not only Group Lotus but Proton. Whether or not that was his intention we may never know- Saward can be very perceptive with these things, but he can also misjudge them complately- but the point is Fernandes is in this for the moolah, so let’s not cry ourselves to sleep about this ‘injustice’

        1. Yea lets not beat around the bush here. This is very disrespectful to the sport and its heritage for two groups of Malaysians to enter the sport and battle over the use of a respected name that they have never had anything to do with in the past.

          That said, shame on the FIA for its lack of handling in the situation. In no other sport would it have got this far. If two Liverpools were to appear in the Premier League the issue would be dealt with immediately and common sense would prevail, yet this has dragged on for many weeks.

          There is obviously a reason behind this, as one respected F1 journalist says – always follow the money.

          Yet again the powers that be have helped the general public talk about the sport for the wrong reasons.

          1. Two Liverpools? Like, say, two Manchesters? Two Sheffields? Two Dundees?

            Easy. Force them to have distinct names. Manchester United, Manchester City. Team Lotus Renault; Lotus Renault GP.


          2. @topdowntoedown
            I like it – they should follow the Dundee model and put the factories next door to each other…

        2. Absolutely. I find it hard to have sympathy for either side when the reality is they’re both just trying to make a load of money.

          This is quite interesting, since I have read a comment by Stirling Moss regarding this story of failure in which he suggested that Colin Chapman himself would have simply sold the Team Lotus name to the highest bidder.

          And I really tend to believe him on that, because in the end Chapman was a buisness man or the company Lotus Cars would not have survived to this day and Chapman himself would not have become a millionaire. This may be way too cynical but in the end, Lotus has been a buisness back then and it is now and perhaps this is why I do not care at all who has this name. And to be perfectly honest, I would not be surprised if the Chapman family makes a nice buck out of this whole farce as well, you know, for saying this one day and that another day. In the end, money makes the world and F1 go round.

          Here is the link to the statement by the way:

          1. The ccar company is surely taking a huge gamble – where are they getting all the funding to $100m sponsor Renault over the next few years in addition to creating and producing a whole new line of cars..

            There are always topics on F1F you know will create a huge debate – Alonso/Ferrari, Hamilton/Mclaren, and Lotus/Renault will all lead to hundreds of responses.

          2. Calum that for me is part of the stupidity – that money going to Renault has the same source as last years team1Malaysia or what was it sponsorship that helped build an interesting team: Fernandes Lotus.
            The source is the Malaysian taxpayer, more or less. They must love that it is being thrown around like this.

          3. Moss never liked Chapman though, so much as I admire the man his opinions on this are a bit biased.

        3. I just find myself enjoying watching Tony’s Lotus, On facebook I read something about special crutches they made for Heikki’s girlfriend after the ROC shunt. I mean, sure, stepping back they are as both buissnessmen and as bad as each other, but I don’t think Bahar is even going to try to draw me into his team like Tony has.

          That… And I really don’t like Bahar… He is destroying Lotus cars.

          1. That… And I really don’t like Bahar… He is destroying Lotus cars.

            Agreed, which is why I think Fernandes should just drop the name at this point rather than give free advertising to what’s become a joke of a car company. I think it was already suggested in the forum thread on the topic, but if Fernandes really is serious about building sports cars he ought to buy Caterham, who make a better Lotus than Lotus ever has, and name his F1 team to match. I’ll support his team regardless of what they’re called though. They showed over the course of a season that they’re serious about racing. I think it’s laughable to assert they’re just doing it to make money. F1 is not profitable unless it’s by way of advertising another product you sell (like Ferrari’s road cars or Red Bull’s drink). If Fernandes were purely about money he’d have named his team Air Asia from the start to boost its profile around the world. Unless of course Saward is correct and he really did have plans to buy Proton, which I suppose is possible.

          2. I agree, I’ll also add there is a huge difference between starting your own team from scratch, and buying into what is already a fairly/very successful team. And it really shows the commitment of Fernandes to F1.

            Actually on that note, Do you realise how great it is that we have Two completely new, non manufacturer teams in F1? Who are able to build and design their own cars? These guys are the Enzo’s and the Chapmin’s of our day. I can’t even begin to remember the last time a new team was started from scratch, that wasn’t someone like Toyota. It is fantastic for F1 that these guys have shown that, it is possible.

          3. Probably Fernandez is now only waiting to win the court cases (as this would establish his right to the usage of the name in F1) and then sell to Group Lotus who will be hard pressed to resist a court ruling on this now.

            Then he will win the row, get a lot of money from relenting/licencing the name to the Car company and he will be seen to be the reasonable one (good for politics?)

          4. I liked that too. I was very scpetical to begin with, and I know they’re trying to make money, but they genuinely come over as a big family (as do McLaren actually, but perhaps a rather more ‘serious’ one) and I like that.

            PS: Heikki is a lucky boy.

          5. @US_Peter: I think the Caterham suggestion was mine – unless someone else came up with it first…

    2. What video are you refering to?

  3. Trulli’s mixed up his words. Lotus are the embarrassment.

    Just call the team 1Malaysia and stop pretending to be the ‘best of the new teams’ whilst claiming to be making the teams 750th start.

    1. How about you buy a car for a lot of money and after a year your neighbor comes and drives it around and then puts it in his garage. And when you complain he tells you that its actually his and then his aunts best friend says that it should actualy be his car. Would you just roll over and go back to using your bike because you are such a good sport?!
      I know this comparison isn’t spot on, but its not too far from the reality. The Fernandes team bought the Team Lotus brand with everything thats attached to that package (which isn’t the car companies history but certainly the F1 team history – which frankly is the only reason to buy the name, or do you believe Mercedes brought back Maybach or BMW Mini because the names sound so cool?! Nope, they did because of the history, a history they have nothing to do with) and now they use it. Period.
      The car manufacturer owns the name Lotus too and they shoud use it however they like.
      Therefore two Lotus teams can/will exist with slightly different names because neither of them is wrong.
      And the only Chapman I feel is entitled to an opinion is Colin, but he isn’t very talkative anymore. The rest of the Chapman family can go to *somewhere* because they have absolutely nothing to do with Lotus anymore since they don’t own any least tiny little bit of anything anymore.

      To finish this post: I tried to explain all this mess to my girlfriend and her comment on it was that it sounds like the plot for a highly ridiculous and bad soap opera .. I think that says it all.

      1. Before I forget it .. that wasn’t directed at Tommy personally.

  4. I think keeping the technical rules stable for a long period of time ruins the show, large changes like we have this year and in 2013 shake up the order and allow teams to find large amounts of performance during a season, which keeps us guessing.

    As far as saving money is concerned, I’m glad they reined it back a bit since spending got out of control, but formula one is supposed to be the pinnacle and you dont get that without the cost.

    1. I think keeping the technical rules stable for a long period of time ruins the show, large changes like we have this year and in 2013 shake up the order and allow teams to find large amounts of performance during a season, which keeps us guessing.

      I agree, but I do think that some of this year’s changes are redundant, i.e. KERS and the moveable rear wing. They should have made the front and rear wing both fixed and told teams that if they wanted a push to pass button they’d need to focus on developing KERS. It could be run for a year and if overtaking still didn’t improve the moveable wing could’ve been considered at that points. As it is the rules involving the moveable rear wing are so fiddly and complicated that they’re just going to be annoying. Any viewer who’s not an avid fan and doesn’t watch every race is not going to know about them, which means the TV announcers explaining the stupid rules of how they’re used multiple times over a race weekend. 2010 was a great year, slightly more overtaking would be welcome, but KERS should accomplish that. If there’s lots of excessive overtaking and F1 becomes NASCAR I don’t think it will ultimately “improve the show.”

      1. Yeah I have to say I agree with the movable rear wing, I was referring to the general principle.

    2. Huh, George? Changing the rules every season costs money you know? It’s a contradiction and a big irony to say we want to save money then make a change that costs more money to run the teams.

      Constant rules would reduce costs, and allow other teams to enter without needing to be billionaires. Why no chassis purchase program and so on and so on.

      If you want teams keeping you guessing I believe they call that R&D, innovation and devlopment cycles. You can do that without changing rules…

  5. As far as I’m concerned there is a team called Renault, and a team called (rightly or wrongly) Lotus.

    Neither has any connection to Chapman’s lotus, and neither has any right to claim they have run 300, 500 or whatever, races.

    1. Completely agree, thats how i see it too, they may be called lotus but neither is the true original lotus. And this whole thing is an embarrassment to F1 that they can get away with this! I hope that when he season starts, people call one lotus and the other renault and nothing really changes. (except the awful JPS livary)

    2. The team called Renault should be called Genii though :-)

    3. If I buy a company? Do I buy it’s history?

      My understanding of companies buying each other is yes, name, history, assets, logos everything.
      If I buy a company that was start in 1950, do I get to claim the company has been going since 1950? I believe the answer to that is yes.
      Which to my mind, means that for now, Tony does have a legitimate and legal connection to Chapman’s Lotus as they bought the right to “claim they have run 300, 500 or whatever, races.” When he bought it of hunt, who had acquired those rights in 94.

      Proton thought they bought those rights when they bought lotus cars, they thought they were buying team lotus as well, but they were wrong. And have been throwing their toys out of the pram ever since. Now I understand the idea that Team Lotus isn’t the real Lotus, seeing as it is a completely new group of people. But…

      Considering that no one in Ferrari was also there in 1950, you could argue they “they may be called ferrari but neither is the true original ferrari.” (to steal JustAnF1Fanatic’s line.)

      The only difference is a continuation of their entry in F1. And I’ll point out, if that’s the requirement to be the legitimate heir, then the 2006 Honda team wasn’t the real Honda… As they had a long gap since their early days as well.

      In terms of emotional sentiment I can understand people not backing Tony Fernandes as the real Lotus. But like it or not he is the legitimate owner of the Lotus formula one team. And the only reason this can change is based on the outcome of the coming case. I can’t fathom how anyone can argue that Bahar is in the right. The only way, is if Hunt never acquired the rights to the team! But this is almost silly, considering Hunt was in charge as Lotus competed in their two last races in 94. Hell, He gave Mika Salo his first drive!

      Lastly, The Chapmin family have recently said they don’t want the Lotus name to return to F1, a snub to both the Lotus teams. Yet again… They don’t own the rights, They haven’t owned the rights for a very, very long time. It’s just like when Eddie Jordan talks about Force India as if it’s still his team, and you all jump on him for talking like that, So I don’t see why it’s different in this case.

      I think this argument is becoming more and more bizarre, Yes, Tony is an opportunistic businessman. But he’s done things the right way. He’s bought the rights from the legal owner, Hunt, who acquired them in 94. I can’t see how this can be any more complicated than that.

      1. There are 2 differant ways of owning a team with a historical name though:

        If I bought Mclaren – it would be a continuation of the team, mucch like Genii did with Renault last year – they kept the same name and nobody cared even though the French manufacturers were no longer involved.

        However, if I bought say, the Vanwall or Brabham names and started a team – it’s differant because the new rendition of the team isn’t related to the historical team and their acheivements.

        1. I wanna buy Minardi!

          All that history of great coffee and bad machinery. Do you think the coffee maker comes with the deal?

          1. It comes with a Chemex coffee maker and a set of filters…

        2. That was exactly my point. Fernandes didn’t buy “Team Lotus” and continued it’s activity. He bought the name of the team which is long gone. That’s why his claims are ridiculous.

          As for Lotus Cars, they have right to start something in F1 on their own as long as they clearly separate themselves from Team Lotus, and you know what, they actually do this.

      2. Now I understand the idea that Team Lotus isn’t the real Lotus, seeing as it is a completely new group of people. But…

        Reportedly there are employees of the new Team Lotus in Norfolk, that worked at the historic Team Lotus of old. Renault can’t make that claim.

  6. the ‘narain karthikeyan’ link links back to this round up keith.

    1. Fixed the link, thanks.

  7. How come the xbox championship doesn’t get this kind of coverage? :P

    1. [insert ridiculous remark about xboxes here]

    2. I think the key word is, the ‘Official’ F1Fanatic World Championship. :P

      1. lets hope no one challenges the right to be the “official” championship, quite in the spirit of F1 and motorracing!

        1. It would have to be put in front of the offical Keith Collantine panel to be decided!

      2. Ah yes but that is the PS3 version! But point taken lol.

    3. all I can say is, lol!

  8. Narain Karthikeyan thanks fans for support

    I guess he only had a look at Mallya’s comment and his twitter responses, or else he would not say that. I mean, for most people it seems like F1 has died since his was signed, [sarcasm]since it is the most awful thing to ever happen to the sport, making Senna’s death look like a happy sunday[/sarcasm]

    1. Yes but the people being negative aren’t “his fans” ;)

  9. Happy Birthday to the trio of Birthdays!

    1. Same from me, Happy Birthday to all three of you!

      1. Just a thought, when is Jenson Buttons Birthday?

        1. The 19th, I think.

  10. Trulli can be a miserable sod at times.

  11. “‘There are too many new things, from aerodynamics to tyres to KERS. We talk about saving money but each year the rules change, people don’t understand, it becomes less of a show,’ the 36-year-old Italian told Sunday’s Gazzetta Sportiva newspaper.”

    Trulli has actually picked up on a really interesting point. By default changing the rules implies that the teams will spend more money on researching and redesigning their cars. Regardless of whether these are relatively small changes to the aero rules or bigger changes, such as the move to smaller capacity engines in 2013. The rule changes seem to fly in the face of the cost saving approach that F1 is now embracing. I dont think it hurts the show as Mr Trulli suggests, but it doesnt necessarily improve it.

    On the flipside though, if theres consistency in the rules from year to year, theres even less opportunity for smaller teams to beat larger ones, as the technical challenge they will face will be to maximise an existing car design (as opposed to adapting to new rules). That is, we’re more likely to get periods of one team dominating (eg Ferrari from 2000-2004).

    Its a difficult area that the FIA needs to balance.

    1. To me it looks like some of the smaller teams will have to focus only on 1 of those must have gimmicks (adjustable rear wing and KERS). Surely all of Lotus, Virgin and probably Torro Rosso will focus on the rear wing.
      Sauber, Williams and Force India will have KERS, and will try to get the rear wing working as soon as possible. Only Red Bull, Renault, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari will have both of them from the start.

      HRT will possibly have non of these to start the season with. Hey, but they will have a NARIAN device!

      1. I would expect Williams and Sauber to also have both devices from the start of the season.

  12. You know, at this point, with the fighting and all the complexities of who’s the “real” Lotus and how to you count which one is the continuance of the old, I say NEITHER is and NEITHER should be allowed to count the old Lotus’s stats toward theirs.

    That said, I am much more endeared to Lotus Racing after watching them over the 2010 season. They seem like a great team and I want to see them continue to progress and eventually succeed. The fact that Lotus cars couldn’t simply get behind them and say “yeah, we’re back in F1!” comes across to me as selfish and petulant. Eventually, I’m sure Lotus Racing will have to change it’s name and I will still be cheering them on regardless of what they have to call themselves. I can’t say I’ll be so eager to go buy a Lotus road car anymore, though.

  13. i think the problem is that if Tony changes his name to anything else, he might see exodus from sponsors… who have paid em money on being ‘lotus’… which he can’t afford.

    1. Uh, the likes of Tune Group and AirAsia are also operated by Fernandes. He’s probably never going to want for money, even if he upsets the likes of CNN and Naza and Maxis.

      1. it’s not just about CNN, Naza & Maxis… but it will also be a problem to attract future sponsors for a non-lotus name.

    2. On the other hand, if he were to lose the court case then it could be even more costly.

      While I full support TF’s right to use the name Team Lotus in F1, I like the team and would rather them change the name now and avoid a damaging defeat in court as opposed to hanging onto the name and possibly having irreparable harm done if they are forced to change the name later.

      And in the interests of keeping the peace there should be a FOTA/FOM agreement reached to allow them to retain their TV Rights money from 2010.

      1. TF’s not stupid, he would’ve had the “Team Lotus Rights” fully checked out before he parted with any pennies. I very much doubt he paid a shedload of money for a useless bit of paper. The rights must be his and Group Lotus are going to be faced with a problem.

        On the flipside – If tomorrow I bought the rights to Toyota’s cars and facilities and returned in 2011 and named my team “Toyota Racing” would you say I didn’t have the right to use that name? it doesn’t matter whether the team has been out of the sport for 1 year or 16… Team Lotus is back, with its heritage, with it’s history and the moral aim is the same – to build a good car and go racing. TF and Mike Gasgoine have repeatedly said they aren’t trying to dent the Chapman legacy they are trying to continue it which I think they did it proud last year! To start from nothing and be within a second or two of established teams in one of (if not THE) most technologically advanced sport in the world is an achievement whatever you call yourself

  14. Charles Carroll
    10th January 2011, 5:05

    Red Bull is really Adrian Newey racing, and should be called “Newey Racing”. I agree with David Hobbs and others who look beyond the corporate names to those actually responsible for the cars and those doing the driving. THEY are the sport, not some small group of men throwing money away. At this point, I think I would rather have four teams with three drivers each. At least they would have the money to avoid terrible pay drivers and silly naming controversies. Then, maybe…just maybe, we can get back to racing. Keep Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, and whatever team Newey is with. Jettison all the others, keeping only the decent drivers.

    1. That wouldn’t help a thing. The “real racing” we would get would be Fernando in front and two other red cars holding back anyone else. If one team has the best car over a whole season, without too many breakdowns, and applies TOs the championship will be over 5 races before the end.

  15. Corporate sharks? Spare a thought for the guys who engineer the cars, build the cars, prepare the cars, drive the cars …. I believe the corporate sharks do more damage to those people more than anyone else.

    1. And who pays for all that? And don’t give me the ‘back in the day they did it for the sake of it, for honour and glory’ bla bla. The team staff has wifes, children, mortgages and whatever more that want to be paid and the currency used for that isn’t hugs and smiles, its money.

  16. Anyone picked up on this news (
    Seems HRT does not even have enough money to pay the FOTA membership fee of EUR 100.000.
    Or do they have some gimmicks that are not FOTA agreed upon? I would say they are hardly in danger of not making the budget restrictions, unless there is a minimum budget as well. So maybe they want to have the possibility of testing in season?
    The most likely it is just about the money though.

    1. That link isn’t working – I think it’s reading the )? as part of it – here is the working link:

      1. thanks for correcting the link Adrian!

      2. Andrew Benson took this news as an opportunity (seems HRTs payment for 25.000 EUR 1/4 year installment budged in December) to think about the recent developments around the resources restriction agreement.

  17. I personally found it a bit dis-respectful to Colin Chapman that this new team are claiming they are Team Lotus.

  18. I just had a read up of the “Collantine Cup” forum. Seems you guys have had a hell of a lot of fun and major crashes with the Championshi so far!

  19. From the article about Karthekayan/Force India:

    Said Mallya: “We’re currently closing our driver lineup and I’m really excited about what’s to come.”

    Is this only press-talk or does it imply a big change, maybe even bigger then we expect?

    Maybe Liuzzi will keep his seat, but together with Di Resta or Huelkenberg?

    He probably has bad memories about seatsharing, but maybe that’s the only option which doesn’t violate the contract which Joe Saward continues to mention in every article about ‘Tonio’ Liuzzi. (for those of you who don’t know: apparantly Vitantonio Liuzzi has a contract in place to race this year at Force India. So either Force India pays him off, shoves him to HRT, or finds some clauses in the contract which make swapping seats possible – last option dreamed up by me)

    And Sutil could be put in the mix as well.

  20. The Lotus row is not only embarrassing for all involved, it’s incredibly boring.

    I got quite sick of Fernandes and co. fairly early on in 2010, when they appeared on the BBC every weekend crowing about how they were going to be challenging for points, championships, points, race wins, points, fastest laps, points etc., immediately if not sooner. “Embodying the spirit of the old Lotus?” I don’t think Colin Chapman was the type to go around whoring himself out to whatever media group would listen, talking up his chances and generally making a nuisance of himself. His talking, and that of his team, was done on the track.

    Then Bahar comes along and says, “I’m Spartacus Lotus,” flapping around bits of paper and shouting incoherently, seemingly making enemies with everyone he touches (except the Chapman family, who are quite probably just exasperated with the whole thing).

    Ultimately this isn’t a question of “spirit” or “what the fans would like” or “who got there first.” It’s about legal naming rights, which both claim to have and which will probably end, years later, in a courtroom. We should all just stop caring now and save ourselves the bother.

  21. get over it people; I don’t give a damn about real lotus, fake lotus, heritage.. bla bla bla…

    and chapman family.. I don’t think their blessing is that important since they didn’t own lotus Group and Team Lotus anymore; and they themselves is just another history from the past; so get over it.

    Cut the craps and Let’s just race!


  22. Trulli’s comments have been elaborated upon in an article over at Autosport. He basically says that Formula 1 has gone back twenty years with the renewed emphasis on drivers paying for seats.

    In a way, he’s right, though I have no sympathy for anyone involved. Formula 1 has been the architect of its own demise. Where you could once put together a team and compete for a whole season for just five million dollars, it’s not uncommon for teams these days to spend four hundred million dollars in the course of a season, which means it’s roughly eighty times more expensive than it was twenty years ago.

    An who do we have to balme for all of this?

    Well, I for one am laying the blame at the feet of Ferrari. This is not one of my infamous anti-Ferrari rants. Not entirely. I blame Ferrari because they’re the only one left to blame. Toyota, Honda and BMW have all fallen by the wayside. Ferrari is the only one of the orginal manufacturers left in the game; Renault spent just one hundred and fifty million dollars in 2010, and Mercedes spent half that at eighty million. But Ferrari have consistently spent hundreds of millions of dollars in a single season for years now. And they’ll keep doing it because they know that if they spend more money, they can get more out of the car. In spending that money, the likes of McLaren and Red Bull are forced to spend just as much in order to keep up. The manufacturers might be – by and large – gone from Formula 1, but the manufacturer arms race continues,

    Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to this. The teams know that spending more money will give them (potentially) more speed, and so will resist any moves to hamstring them. In a sense, Max Mosley was right. In theory if not in practice. Formula 1 needs a budget cap. A maximum amount of one hundred million dollars to be spent over the course of a season, and not a penny more. How they want to spend that money is entirely up to the teams, but they would have to cover all their expenses with it. Because it’s a bit of a joke when a single driver is being paid more than some teams are sending in a season.

    Formula 1 needs to cut costs. And fast. It will be unpopular, and we might lose a team or two for it, but the FIA should force the regulations through the way they did the 2013 engine regulations (in fact, with the engine and design changes due that year, 2013 would be the perfect time to enforce a rigid budget cap). Because I for one don’t want to see the grid populated by the Formula 1 rogues gallery of everyone from Jean-Denis Deletraz to Yuji Ide and Plamen Kralev.

    1. For the record, I disagree with Trulli’s reasons as to why it’s a struggle for Italian drivers to find sponsorship. He claims that it’s because the Italians only care about Ferrari and he thinks that if Liuzzi is dropped by Force India, it will be a minor scandal because Trulli will then be the only Italian on the grid.

      I think the reason why Italians are struggling in the sport is because there aren’t any good Italians racing.

      1. The closest thing to a good Italian driver is currently Kubica, which is kind of sad for the Italians.

    2. Do you really think the top two constructors of 2010, Red Bull and McLaren, would have cut costs if Ferrari were not there? Red Bull stated its aim to come out on top this year. So did McLaren, who exists to race. Both have plenty of funding, both will continue to spend as much as they can afford within the allowed limits.

    3. Renault spent just one hundred and fifty million dollars in 2010, and Mercedes spent half that at eighty million.

      And watch both teams increase spending to keep up with RMclaren in 2011.

      1. *to keep up with Red Bull and Mclaren in 2011.

      2. The numbers for Mercedes seem understated, where did you get it?

        1. They got fifty million because Brawn won the 2009 championship. They got another thirty million from the Petronas title sponsorship deal. They basically bought and ran a team without paying a single dime for it.


            what about this? According to those numbers, Renault exceeded 200 million whereas Mercedes was around 280. That’s quite a difference. Source seems to be reliable.

          2. For the arithmetically challenged, here’s the table in the above link multiplied out:

            Formula Money ROI Review and the new edition of the Formula Money report

            1 Ferrari 396 $990,000 = $393m
            2 Mercedes 214 $1.31m = $280m
            3 Red Bull 498 $530,000 = $265m
            4 McLaren 454 $460,000 = $210m
            5 Renault 163 $1.27m = $207m
            6 Williams 69 $1.87m = $129m
            7 Toro Rosso 13 $9.59m = $125m
            8 Force India 68 $1.75m = $119m
            9 Sauber 44 $1.63m = $72m

            three new teams, which spent $256m between them

  23. Fernandes needs to back down, it looks incredibly silly to try and claim to be Lotus when you are not.

  24. Vijay Mallya insists he is ‘delighted’ there will be an Indian driver in F1 this year even though it ‘wasn’t the right time’ for Force India to sign Narain Karthikeyan

    I’m assuming the right time was about five years ago.

  25. i agree with trulli 110%

    1. Wow! That’s a lot of agreement…

  26. The recent revelation that Fernandes tried to buy Group Lotus and would still like to buy Group Lotus shines a whole new light on the Lotus Renault naming spat. In effect it is far more than a silly naming row in F1 it’s an issue of who controls and owns Group Lotus.

    Bahar is proposing a total revamp of Group Lotus to put the road cars in direct competition with Ferrari, Porsche and Audi and to win substantial market share from all of them. For that according to him, Group Lotus need successful winning exposure in top line motorsport, particularly F1. If he fails to get that then the foundations of his plans no longer stack up and presumably Proton will pull the finance and sell Group Lotus ….. perhaps to Fernandes…..

    And that seems to be all down to the courts.

    There seems to be 3 issues.

    1. The termination of the Licence agreement from Group Lotus to Fernandes. Without details of the contract no one can say the rights or wrongs of this but it seems to be a side show now that Fernandes has bought Team Lotus.

    2. The rights to the Team Lotus name. Despite earlier controversy this seems fairly straightforward, Fernandes has bought rights and even Barhar seems to be accepting that.

    3. Are the trademarks that belong to Team Lotus still valid. Fernandes, Hunt etc, say yes. Bahar says no because of the lack of use. I’m no trademark lawyer, and there seems to be quite good arguments on both sides, but the outcome of this seems to be the crucial issue. The key rights as stated in the trademarks and agreements are that Group Lotus have full rights to the Lotus name outside F1 but Team Lotus have EXCLUSIVE rights to the Lotus name in F1. So if Fernandes wins this legal argument Barhar’s plans for the future of Group Lotus fall in a heap, and Fernandes is then probably able to buy Group Lotus. If Fernandes fails then presumably he will sell on the Team Lotus name to Group Lotus and rename his team Air Asia or something.

    They both seem to be playing for very high stakes, but it’s interesting that to date Fernandes has made no move to call his GP2 outfit Lotus, and despite all the press releases no application seems yet to have been made to the FIA to change the Renault team name from “Renault F1 Team” to “Lotus Renault”

    1. 1. that’s right. we cannot know sth about breach of the contract knowing nothing about the contract. and it’s the first case at the bar (TF’s lawsuit)

      2. not seems, he accepts that. see his statements and interviews. no courts battles.

      3. “Team Lotus have EXCLUSIVE rights to the Lotus name in F1” ???? How is that?
      “Team Lotus” have EXCLUSIVE rights to “Team Lotus” name in F1. That’s all. They have no rights to apply name “Lotus” to the cars (anywhere). so according to Bahar, TF can name his chasis “Team Lotuses” not “Lotuses”. And that’s the second case (Group Lotus’ lawsuit)

      And yes, late Team Lotus drove Lotuses but that was different story – same owner with Lotus Cars

      Sources: Bahar and Lopez interviews around Lotus-Renault-Genii deal

  27. So there are two F1 teams with Lotus in their name – big deal! People can tell the difference between Manchester United and Manchester City, I’m sure they’re intelligent enough to figure this out as well.

  28. nano_rock (@)
    11th January 2011, 18:44

    Thks Keith!

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