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

Debates and polls

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

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

  1. Tony has brought the real “Lotus spirit” to the F1 world. The spirit that has been missing from the series for a long time.

    I see this whole name dispute just as Protons feeble attempt to buy their spot in the sun (as they missed the last joining period) and “steal” and profit from the good foundation Tony has built with the good name of Lotus.

  2. Wayne said on 8th December 2010, 13:47

    Bahar must be the stupidest person ever….

    He wants to develop his brand by investing in a team to compete… against his own brand.

    Should have invested the money in ‘Team Lotus’, save money on these ridiculous legal battles and get on with going racing, no brainer.

    • but its not HIS brand, its a different brand that shares essensialy the same name.

      • Legally they may be different brands, but when I think of team lotus I still think of Lotus road cars, as will a majority of fans.

        All this move will do is paint group lotus in an extremely unfavourable light.

  3. UneedAFinn2Win said on 8th December 2010, 13:50

    WHY ?

    How do they think what comes out of this is in any way positive for Proton?

    The PR damage they are going to accumulate between now and when the cars roll out in March is unimaginable.

    The news outlets have very little to report during the off-season, so this will stay as a topic for a while, so it will get analyzed and mulled over in a negative light for months.

    And they are going to come out looking like a fake, or a bully or just a bunch of (plural profanities).

    They are underestimating the F1 public, and the impact of what Lotus did in their first year of business. Fans love them. I mean LOVE them. So they are not going away or switching over, they will stay with the team.

    I wish I knew Malay for “big mistake”

  4. im backing the Tony Fernandes team next year.

    Tony has built up a good team for next year and years to come and i believe that Tony is more interested in continuing the history and legacy of Lotus. Lotus cars are just doing this because their not happy and being mardy.

    Also the family of Colin Chapman has already given their prase to Tony Fernandes and have said that he is the guy to continue the legacy of Lotus.

  5. While I still probably lean towards neither team being the real Lotus, I would defiantly choose Lotus Racing out of the two in this naming dispute.

    Lotus Racing have got the support of the Chapman family and have built up a lot of goodwill with F1 fans over the last year.

    As Lotus Racing will use Renault engines I think this could mean Lotus Cars have the power to win the naming battle, when the Renault engine deal was announced it was with 1Malaysia F1 Team not Lotus Racing.

    So when does everyone think this will be sorted, by end of this year, before the car launches and testing or will we really have two Lotus Renault teams with black and gold livery?

    Personally I think it will be sorted before the 2011 car launches in favour of Lotus Cars. If this is the case I defiantly will not be supporting Renault/Lotus Cars.

  6. Xanathos said on 8th December 2010, 14:15

    Group Lotus is a stakeholder and title Sponsor, but the team is still called Renault, so it should be pretty straightforward:
    one Lotus is competing against, Vodafone, Marlboro and Petronas while the other one is racing against McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes.
    I know which one I’m going to call Lotus

    • Burnout said on 8th December 2010, 19:08

      Haha! That’s a nice way of putting it. But some reports say that Group Lotus has a 25% stake in the Renault team. They’re not merely sponsors like Vodafone or Petronas. So even though I’d love it if things were that simple, they aren’t.

  7. Neither. The only real Lotus pulled out in 1994 and should be left in peace.

  8. ShawnF said on 8th December 2010, 14:46

    After all, Lotus Cars is just a sponsor of Renault,and they will still be competing in the name “Renault” as the Constructor. Lotus Racing/Team Lotus will run as “Lotus” in the Constructors’ Championship, so ultimately, Team Lotus is Lotus, but Lotus Renault is Renault.

  9. his_majesty said on 8th December 2010, 14:48

    Lotus died with colin chapman, period. These people are idiots, make your own legacy.

  10. J-Dubya said on 8th December 2010, 15:00

    Neither, Lotus died with Colin Chapman. Where are the conspiracy theorists on this one? Sadly, in the U.S., any publicity is “good” publicity. Both are getting a ton of free publicity with this stunt. Renault are supplying the engines to both teams. They will have this squabble, gain a ton of publicity; they will call a tenuous truce and say lets fight it out on the track — still more drama and publicity.

  11. We Want Turbos said on 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.

  12. Melkurion said on 8th December 2010, 15:26

    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 ! :)

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

  14. Joey-Poey said on 8th December 2010, 15:34

    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.

  15. 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.

    • 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 :)

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