Renault may change livery for 2012 Canadian GP

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

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Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Barcelona, 2011

Renault say the Canadian Ministry of Health has permitted them to use their black-and-gold livery in this weekend’s race.

However they may have to change the design, which harks back to the John Player Special livery used by Lotus in the seventies and eighties, in time for next year’s race.

A statement issued by Renault said: “Lotus Renault GP made contact recently with the Quebec authorities to discuss the conformity of the RS31’s livery with the anti-tobacco legislation in force.

“After noting that the team has no link to the tobacco industry, and the black and gold colours used are a reference to the cars of the eighties rather than a particular sponsor, the Ministry of Health has given its agreement for Lotus Renault GP to take part in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix with an unchanged livery.

“However, the team has agreed to work with the Quebec authorities on a more noticeable way to keep complying with the local legislation in 2012.”

Lotus-Cosworth 79, 1978

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “We’re delighted to be able to race in Montreal in our usual colour scheme.

“The Quebec authorities noted that the current livery makes a reference to images from the 1980s when the car was sponsored by the tobacco industry, but it has also accepted the fact that Lotus Renault GP receives no direct or indirect financing from the industry in question.

“We would like to thank them for acknowledging our good faith.

“We are fully aware of the stringent restrictions imposed by the law in Quebec on promotional associations with tobacco. As a result, we will use all means available to dispel any misconceptions that our identity and that of our partners is somehow associated with this industry”

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    70 comments on “Renault may change livery for 2012 Canadian GP”

    1. Fernandes must be having a chuckle about this one :)

      1. When he decided to leave the black and gold to Renault, I guess he couldn’t imagine that it would have played in his favour so much!

        1. I would guess by then he already knew that.

      2. He may well be but wasn’t the green and yellow lotus also sponsored by a tobacco company “Gold Leaf”?

        1. If you ask me the whole thing is moot using colours. Williams are using similar to the rothmans era colours.

          Ferrari still use red and white in their logo and do have ties to Phillip Morris so logically if any team has to change it would be them.

        2. No, that wasn’t the yellow and green. That was red and white with a little gold.

    2. beckenlima (@)
      6th June 2011, 17:02

      Would be a stupid decision to make a team change his livery only because it looks like something back from 80´s.

      Should they ask Ferrari to change his PR´s name because they have Marlboro in it? Stupid…

      1. It’s the law. I doubt the judge cares whether or not it’s “stupid”

      2. Would be a stupid decision to make a team change his livery only because it looks like something back from 80´s.

        That’s not the issue here.
        The livery from the 80s came from the sponsor – John Player Special, a tobacco company.
        That’s like McLaren wanting to use the Marlboro colour scheme they made famous in the 80s/90s.

        1. McLaren still use a tobacco livery in a way: they only went grey/silver for West. Their original colour was orange.

          1. ΜcLaren went silver only for Mercedes, not for West. Nevertheless I think it will be a stupid decision for Renault’s livery.

        2. An 80’s sponsor most underage people will have NO clue what is in reference to, mind you. Considering anyone under 18 will have been born in 93 about now…

      3. Well, beckenlima, just have a look at the advertising campaings by JPS (still one of the lead brands for the company), for example in Germany and Austria they clearly refer to a connection with car racing.

        I would not even be completely sure that the JPS brand did not find a way of “supporting” the team, as their ad campaings have actually been ramped up for since last year.

        1. Imperial’s motor racing budget goes to the Suzuki MotoGP team which carries +Rizla (cigarette papers) livery.

      4. It’s the same reason that Ferrari had to change their “barcode” a couple years ago.

        1. The Last Pope
          6th June 2011, 21:29

          That was only last year.

        2. Yeah, and now they have a livery that looks more like a Marlboro pack than any barcode ever did…go figure..

    3. They might have more differences whilst keeping mainly black and gold.

    4. This is really silly and a very spurious accusation.

    5. The New Pope
      6th June 2011, 17:20

      “Don’t tell people what they can and can’t do with their bodies, with porn, with drugs, with sex, and with their babies, but please…PLEASE tell us not to smoke nor even see tobacco advertisements.” Boy, America’s hat has some stupid and terrible laws that are not based on anything less than the purely arbitrary.

      1. Cluffy_Wedge
        6th June 2011, 17:26

        Could be worse. Here in the UK the government ‘protects’ you from the TERRIBLE DANGERS of alcohol sold at a loss.

        1. TERRIBLE DANGERS of alcohol sold at a loss.

          What does that mean? There are no Happy Hours in bars in the UK?

        2. To be fair though, plenty of people don’t know how to handle their alcohol and are irresponsible when it comes to drinking (vomiting, fighting etc.). So I would say yes, people do need protecting from alcohol.

          1. Strange how western countries are known for their great human rights, but when you look closely they seem to have a lot of their rights taken from them (for better or for worse). Rights which we in the rest of the world take for granted.

        3. Fair points all round but let’s stay on topic please, guys.

          1. Whats the topic again?

      2. I think you will find, there are less and less countries not having such laws.

        Quite a lot of countries now ban smoking in public spaces and some even on the street. And that is including some Asians

      3. “America” is usually used in reference to the United States. This article is about Canada

        1. Ah, my bad…I just got the “America’s hat”…bit slow on the uptake. Sorry, NP.

      4. Snow Donkey
        8th June 2011, 3:38

        You’re being stupid. As a smoker and a Quebecois, I understand the connection between socialised medical care, and the stupid decision to smoke a pack of darts. It makes total sense to me that in a place where no one needs to pay for healthcare, the promotion of a product so clearly poor for your health should be prohibited, and that that law should be enforced. Connection or no, I have seen JPS ads which add four tires to their pack of smokes, therefore, you shouldn’t be bringing into question the desire of a legislative body to verify weather or not there is a breach of the law. And if you think advertising has no bearing, just look at all the kids drinking energy drinks because the pro athlete they look up to can be seen with a can of said companys beverage (even if it actually contains water…)

        /End rant.

    6. Kudos to Renault for being proactive and straight forward, and kudos to the Canadian Government for being reasonable (which they are not known for [coming from a Canadian])

      1. Agreed. This is the main point of the article, kudos to Renault and the Canadian government for being reasonable!

      2. I rather think its connected. Right at the start of the year the Canadians voiced their concerns, leaving Renault no option but to have a look into it.

        As they were probably cooperative, they agreed on something of a compromise.

    7. “After noting that the team has no link to the tobacco industry” yet Ferrari who still have Philip Morris (marlboro) as their main sponsor are fine?

      Interestingly if you go to a GP you will see 2 ferrari motor homes – one for ferrari and one for Philip Morris. But of course that’s fine…

      1. beckenlima (@)
        6th June 2011, 17:35

        Interestingly if you go to a GP you will see 2 ferrari motor homes – one for ferrari and one for Philip Morris. But of course that’s fine…

        Yeah, ‘AA’. THAT is the point. Ferrari´s new logo clearly resembles Marlboro´s logo as Lotus resembles the old Lotus livery.

        To be clear: I dont care about Ferrari’s deal with Marlboro. I only want some consistency from Canadian Ministry of Health.

      2. Yes, but not the livery of a tobacco company, it’s not a barcode, or a visual clue, no, just the team logo!

        I was rather surprised by the rest of that sentence: ” and the black and gold colours used are a reference to the cars of the eighties rather than a particular sponsor”

        huh? How did they manage to confince anyone that the John Player Special black with gold is not referring to a particular sponsor?

        … maybe because the court just ruled they aren’t Team Lotus, so it wasn’t their sponsor, or what?

        1. See it as rewarding the simple fact Renault understood they would possibly be in breach and agreed on a compromise, allowing them to race this year but have to change for the future.

        2. Marlboro do sponsor Ferrari. But JPS doesn’t sponsor Lotus Renault.

          And that is the argument. Its different than Ferrari or any other.

    8. I’m surprised there is even a discussion about this. I had just assumed it wasn’t tobacco advertising as there is no tobacco company actually sponsoring and paying the team?

      Without actual company involvement from JPS it’s just a colour scheme and nothing more…

      1. Maybe they are, we just dnt know it? :)

      2. As Infy notices, its hard to know weather JPS really is not involved.
        There are thousends of ways to do so unnoticed.

        1. JPS own the livery though so funding or not it’s like sticking a company logo on your car except insted the whole thing is a logo.

          1. JPS own the livery? Again I had just assumed Renault had designed the livery and used those colours and nothing more… I don’t think it’s anything like a logo or trademark. I’d imagine there is no licencing on colour schemes…

    9. Remember that JPS didn’t just sponsor the team in the 70’s, they effectively brought it, Lotus became a John Player Special.

      Personally i think this is stupid, it looks nothing like the JPS cars.

    10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th June 2011, 18:01

      I used to smoke, I don’t smoke now, and I personally don’t think that car liveries can make you smoke. Besides that, I consider the original 1978 Lotus car as the most beautiful car ever made.

    11. This is ridiculose the court judgement for lotus v lotus said that renault could use the black and gold livery because it was owned by JPS NOT LOTUS. It’s owned by a tobacco company. Clearly if you want to break canadian laws all you have to do is be a formula one team.

    12. This is ridiculous, if they think people start smoking just because a car is a certain colour they shouldn’t want to make the news with these kind of headlines. I bet more people learn about JPS and will start smoking after headlines like “The Canadian Ministry of Health decides Lotus Renault F1 team can’t race because the colour of their car resembles a famous Cigarette brand.”

      I don’t know about you guys but oddly enough I feel like smoking all of a sudden.

    13. This was one of the livery I was hoping to see when I visit the track this weekend

      Sheldon Cooper’s dialog will fit my emotion now….”HULK SAD !!!!”

      1. 2012… happy now

    14. The Last Pope
      6th June 2011, 21:53

      In all probability Renault/Genii will be looking for a new title sponsor/owner for 2012 anyway. Group Lotus are as good as Bankrupt.

      Return of the 2010 livery? Prodrive Aston Martin in Gulf colours? :cool:

      1. Duno i mean it’s shocking if there not bankrupt but they have apparently just given renault more of the malaysian tax payers money by way of paying for a new simulator truely confusing maybe they are just MASSIVLEY in debt. I hope they are to be honest :P

        1. How do come to the conclusion that it is using taxpayers money?

          Proton (parent co of Group Lotus) is one of the Government link companies, just like Petronas. Are we saying, taxpayers money is being used in Mercedes GP as well?

          1. Because Lotus Cars does not have any money to invest, they have empty coffers and los money yearly. Proton had money, a big chunk of it already went to Lotus.
            But to fund Bahars plans and his racing ambitions in just about every series (is he considering entering a SUV for Rally as well?) they had to lend a massive amount of money.
            And the Malaysian state has offered the guarantees to the (mostly Malaysian) banks for that loan. Thus, if the money is not repaid, it ends up being public debt.

      2. I wouldn’t go so far as to say LRGP are bankrupt. Genii are a private investment house, which means they are bound to be highly leveraged (i.e. with high debt levels relative to little in the way of physical assets backing it up) and coming from someone who works in that field (well sort of) that doesn’t make Genii (and therefore the Lotus Renault GP F1 team) bankrupt.

        1. As long as they keep up the financial juggling and repay the loans etc. in time, they will be able to manage just fine.

          If the financial crises showed us one thing, ist just how many companies are working like this now.

    15. Just. Get. Rid. Of. The. Red.

    16. Pretty daft to be honest the very suggestion. Begs the question if more people will now be aware of the smoking connotations than they were before, just because the Canadian Ministry of Health made a point about the livery.

      Anyways, sensible conclusion.

    17. Electrolite
      7th June 2011, 0:25

      By the time the livery change will be done, and millions of viewers around the world will have had this explained to by broadcasters, John Player Special will have had far more exposure than just keeping it schtum. But the law’s the law, I guess…

    18. Its just another case of beurocracy gone mad. These chair warmers produce nothing, all this bs is just them trying to justify their jobs to us all. Get a real job and focus on what really matters in this world.

      How can colours be a trademark? Its just ridicules!!!

      1. How can colours be a trademark?

        Ferrari pretty much own rosso corsa, Italian racing red. Though that mostly has to do with the way they refuse to tell anyone the exact blend of pigments and tones needed to reproduce it.

    19. I guess last year it was about Ferrari barcode this time it’s the colour of Renault which looks like another tobacco manufacturer’s!

    20. Eh, Canada’s a small fish. They should be more worried about the Australians. The government is in the process of forcing through legislation that will require tobacco companies to sell their products in plain packaging. They won’t even be allowed to show their logos; the name must appear plain, and will only be printed on the side of the box for the sake of identifying the brand. Otherwise, the box must either be blank, or covered in graphic health warnings. Worst-case scenario would see Renault show up in Australia covered in pictures of gangreous feet.

      1. Love the graphic picture of that Renault PM!

        The EU is seriously considering something similar.

    21. Slackbladder
      7th June 2011, 5:38

      OH, God, the colour of a racing car is going to make children smoke? Who pays these people to make such insignificant childish egocentric decisions? Oh yea’ it’s the tax payer being told what to think and how to view the world cus we are regarded to be too retarded to make up our own minds? Think I’ll have a smoke now, P or T? mmmm : )

    22. Just don’t forget about Ferrari. Its red livery harks back to the Malboro sponsorship from the 1990s.

      1. Wha? Noooo. Ferrari have always been red. Since the dawn of man.

        1. Not Marlboro red they haven’t. They no longer use rossa corsa.

    23. Surely all the have to do is paint the stripes yellow instead of gold and *BAM*… Renault colours.

      10 minute job, tops. Some masking tape, can of Hammerite, an you’re done.

    24. But it does look like the Lotus cars of the 80’s, it’s just the same colours…

      …for starters they didn’t have stupid red endplates on their wings or insanely large Lotus roudels all over the car as if to say to everyone watching “Hey look we’re Lotus not hose other guys…”

    25. Robert McKay
      7th June 2011, 23:21

      Be a bit bloody stupid if it was fine this year and not fine next year.

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