Who are the real ‘Lotus’ in F1? (Poll)

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Two different teams are locked in a dispute over who has the right to use the Lotus name.

Both intend to use cars in classic black-and-gold John Player Special Lotus colours in 2011.

Who do you think are the real Lotus? Cast your vote and have your say below.

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Valencia, 2010
Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Valencia, 2010

Lotus Racing

The team entered into F1 by Tony Fernandes in 2010. Fernandes bought the licence to use the name ‘Lotus’ from Proton, owners of Group Lotus, in 2009.

Lotus Racing has always considered itself a continuation of the classic Team Lotus and marked its 500th Grand Prix start at Valencia this year.

Fernandes acquired the rights to use the name Team Lotus from David Hunt in September. Hunt has owned them since the original team collapsed at the end of 1994.

2011 Lotus-Renault livery
2011 Lotus-Renault livery

Lotus Cars

The company which builds Lotus road cars was historically separate from the racing team.

They have now agreed a title sponsorship deal with Renault and have become an equity partner in their F1 team.

They plan to call the team Lotus Renault GP.

Over to you

Which team do you consider the rightful user of the name ‘Lotus’? Cast your vote and have you say below.

Who are the real 'Lotus' in F1?

  • Lotus Racing (65%)
  • Lotus Cars (17%)
  • Neither (18%)

Total Voters: 4,059

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Lotus naming rights row

Browse all articles on the Lotus naming rights row

175 comments on “Who are the real ‘Lotus’ in F1? (Poll)”

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  1. We Want Turbos
    8th December 2010, 15:06

    I fear that Colin will be spinning in his grave!! This is terrible! I was sceptical last year about Mr Fernandez’s team, however he has proved to be a real racing fan, Not just a corporate trying to splash his brand about!! Someone please correct me if I’m wrong but Lotus Cars was set up to fund Lotus racing?? Colin Chapman was a racer, a legend! Just hope this years (Real) Lotus car is a little less conservative.

  2. Tony all the way,

    I could list all the reasons again, but everybody who’s for Tony (69 % last I checked!) has already said it.

    And I for one hope they will one day break that glass that says “in case of victory” and hope to see tony throw collin’s cap in the air ! :)

  3. Why not called the 2009 team “Original Team Lotus”?

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      8th December 2010, 22:21

      Because there was no 2009 team? :D

  4. I’ve long despised the idea of being “true” or “real” about something. Frankly, I simply see the team for what they are: a new, ambitious and enterprising team trying to work their way up in F1. Something EVERY team had to start at at some point. A rose by any other name, etc. Lotus has endeared me with their homage to it’s previous incarnation, they’ve impressed me with their progress and determination. For that they’ve made me a fan. Should they be called Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream Whizzbangs, I would still appreciate what they’ve done.

    1. That’d be a great name for them… and Renault could be called “Marketing Guru Lacks Integrity F1.”

  5. if both teams are on the grid next year with those black and gold liveries everyone is then going to be watching who finishes the season in the best position.

    Although im supporting the Tony Fernandes team because i believe he cares more about the history and the legacy behind the Lotus name, the new Lotus Renault GP will surely beat Team lotus in the championship.

    Although Team Lotus say they have designed a very good car for next year, they aren’t going to suddenly be up with the top 5 or 6 teams, which means Lotus Renault will beat them next year.

    1. if both teams are on the grid next year with those black and gold liveries everyone is then going to be watching who finishes the season in the best position.

      I won’t. There is no comparison between a team that has been started from scratch and a team that has been around for decades and is bought by Proton.

      That would essentially be the same as comparing Lotus Racing vs. McLaren or Ferrari.

      One really can’t realistically put both on the same line for comparison.

      If Lotus Racing gets even close it will be a victory of sorts :)

  6. dyslexicbunny
    8th December 2010, 15:41

    I prefer Tony’s outfit. The reasons have been made in previous statements. The arguments are equally valid for Group Lotus. But ultimately, they are definitely a new Lotus entrant as they have no previous F1 experience. That’s not to say that Tony isn’t either. As long as neither history claims the original Lotus’ accomplishments as their own through name, then I’m fine with both.

    But the most interesting part is that we got ourselves the big deal for F1 this year. I do think the cars should be required to have something noticeably different in their livery though if they do go with the same base colors. Like front wing color.

  7. I still think that Lotus Racing nor Lotus Cars can be and shall be the real Lotus in F1. The real Lotus in F1 was Team Lotus and this F1 racing team, sadly, ceased to exist at the beginning of 1995. Lotus Racing is ‘just’ another new team in F1. And Lotus cars just buys itself a proper, existing, racing squad.

  8. I do think that Lotus car company should have the right as they are a manufacturer, I better see them coming then a constructure.May be I am wrong but if they come as an engine supplier in the future ( 2013) then it will be better.

  9. F1 is not what it used to be. Now you have a Malaysian team making an English car, and an English team giving its name to the French, who aren’t French but Spaniard’s.
    So I am asking everyone, would you like to see Ferrari team owned by the Germans, or McLaren owned by the French?

  10. chapmankillie
    8th December 2010, 16:13

    But Lotus Cars are not manufacturers of F1 cars and never have been. They are merely sponsors of the Renault team. Lotus Racing / Team Lotus is an F1 constructor as was the original Team Lotus.

  11. I suspect no-one will notice this, but I’ve done a diagram of how we got to this ridiculous situation…


      (and I love the “Oh Nicole!” Nice touch.)

      1. Couldn’t resist :)

    2. oh, thanks :)

      it pretty much says that both are legal..

    3. nice man!!! helps a lot to see the clear picture!

    4. Is that a stereotypical Norfolk family tree…. (Ducks for cover). :P

  12. If Fernandes bought a license to use the name from Group Lotus last year, it depends on the terms of the license. If it was for one year, Fernandes is out of luck. But I am sure he is a much smarter man than that. So somebody has to wade through the details. And the Team Lotus name is another twist. It sounds to me like the issue is where it should be: in the courts.

    I don’t see why there couldn’t be two teams on the grid that are using that name. It seems like the Lotus car company would then have twice the exposure and why not be happy about that? The problem is they can’t be the same colors, so the FIA would probably have to settle that. ?

    1. Can they not be the same colour? Lotus and BRM used to be the same colour and we must have had other teams in the same colours – the red bull’s for example

  13. LewisC has made a brilliant chart!

  14. Does anyone know whether Bernie Ecclestone and Tony Fernandes are friends?

  15. Yay! Everyone overreacts!

  16. Lotus formula one teams are like buses – you wait ages for one to come along and then two come at once…

    1. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ;)

  17. Clearly there have been and continues to be two companies with a similar name and two distinct areas of business. Unless it’s written into a contract or terms somewhere what is to stop Lotus cars from going racing and there is no way Lotus cars can stop Lotus racing from racing, (though maybe they can stop them building road cars).

    This is not unheard of just look at Triumph Motorcycles when the new company bought the name and started out they thought they where going to build original Bonnie’s only to find that license had already been sold to the company who to this day continue to make and supply parts for this motorcycle.
    Ownership of a brand is passed or sold on complete with any conditions that go with it. There are clearly two brands here, the question is are there any restrictions as to use?

  18. AFAIK Proton only bought the Lotus road car rights and not the F1 team. Indeed, Proton were quite taken aback by the fact that what they had bought didn’t include the F1 team.

    Chapman did the usual thing of making sure that motorsport and road car production were kept seperate to avoid any legal hassles should one or the other find itself in trouble.

  19. To me, the “real” Lotus died when Chapman died, just as the “real” Ferrari died when Enzo died. What we have left is just badge engineering.

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      8th December 2010, 22:24

      So according to that logic there are no real teams left in F1 then?

  20. I hope Team Lotus luck into a wet weather win at Spa or Silverstone this year, just to sock it to Lotus Cars for jumping on the F1 band wagon the easy way – by investing in an already proven team.

    1. They’d need a top wet weather driver for that, and as far as I’m aware there are quite a few drivers better in the wet in better cars… I agree though it’d be great to see them do better than Renault, but I doubt that’s gonna happen in 2011. Maybe 2012 or 2013 when the new regulations come in.

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