F1 – Will the Real Lotus Please Stand Up

Well, its now official. The rumors had been out there for a while, and we even tried to make some sort of sense of them back a few weeks ago on our podcast. Group Lotus has purchased, with the assistance of Genii Capital, a share in the Renault F1 team. During the 2011 season, the team will be known as Lotus Renault GP and will sport the black and gold livery that Mr. Fernandez’s Lotus F1 Racing had previously announced that its team would be using.

The partnership between Lotus and Genii brings the ability to quickly incorporate new technologies from F1™ cars into Lotus road cars including hybrid technology, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), aero advancements and lightweight materials. Genii, an investment holding company with a portfolio of automotive technologies, bring non-F1™ technologies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and on board software systems to the partnership.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1™. 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: We are Lotus, and we are back.” — excerpt from the Group Lotus plc press release.

Well, it doesn’t get any clearer than that. That last statement is a slap in the face and a challenge to Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandez. Mike Gascoyne would not be cowed, however, and had several retorts on Twitter.

And we at Team Lotus are in F1 to design, build and race F1 cars from our home in Norfolk, and in the future to win as a Team, bring it on — @MikeGascoyne

It does seem that Team Lotus will be relenting on their intent to use the black and gold scheme promised earlier. In a fan poll, the green and yellow won a super majority of the vote, so at least that will help mitigate some of the potential confusion between the new Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus. Either way, its certain to give us and other commentators PLENTY to talk about during the 2011 Formula 1 season. 🙂 I don’t think this whole mess is over quite yet.

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5 Thoughts to “F1 – Will the Real Lotus Please Stand Up

  1. this will be annoying to watch. the wmsc should issue the requisite 151c violation notices to both teams now and save us the suspense.

    no, I’m Sparticus!

  2. Regardless, the car looks sick! may be my favorite livery if it looks like that.

  3. Victorinox

    @mike : How is this any different than what Red Bull and Toro Rosso are doing? Both cars have the exact same sponsor and very similar colors. Even their names are the same just translated in different languages.

    I think I will talk to IBM to request a license and start a new “historical” Lotus team. I think I’ll call it Team Lotus Notes Renault GP or … Team Lotus 1-2-3 Racing Renault.

  4. Victorinox, the Lotus v Lotus issue isn’t quite the same as the RedBull/TorroRosso relationship. RedBull is the sponsor for both RBR and STR, but Group Lotus doesn’t sponsor Team Lotus. They’re only affiliated with Lotus Renault GP. Team Lotus is sponsored in large part by Air Asia, and the Lotus name comes thanks to the Chapman family and not Group Lotus, the entity owned by Proton.

    LOVE the Team Lotus Notes idea, though! Brilliant!! 😀

  5. Victorinox, to add to what Doug said, there is real contention between the two camps. Team Lotus really was using the name last year as a way to market their team, which had no connection with Lotus other than they leased the right to use the Lotus name from Group Lotus (the car maker). For 2011 though, Group Lotus was not willing to continue to lease the name as they were planning on buying in to the Renault team and have their own F1 team. So Team Lotus bought the rights to use the Team Lotus name from the old F1 team (which was a separate entity from the car maker). Now Team Lotus and Group Lotus both are claiming that they have the right to use the Lotus name. Team Lotus though has NO connection with the car maker. But the Lotus Renault GP team does, since they are owned by the car maker.

    Odd that Team Lotus is so adamant on using the Lotus name when they are in no way affiliated with the car maker. I can understand why Group Lotus and the Lotus Renault GP team do not want Team Lotus to use the name because it can confuse the branding and marketing, but as Team Lotus has pointed out, what hare does it do to the car maker if there are 4 cars on track all branded with the Lotus name.

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