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. I voted neither. I think it’s too far away from the brand Lotus as it was.

    Bring on Red Bull Racing. Bring on Virgin! Let us watch as new F1 history unfolds.

  2. With the options in this poll, the answer is ‘neither’, since Tony Fernandes’ ‘Team Lotus’ isn’t on there. Remember: that’s their official entry name. That team is the closest to anything that may be considered the real Lotus.

  3. Neither. Lotus was Colin Chapman’s team and no matter how many old personnel, name rights, logos etc. will make your team it. They were away for too long, the break too severe for this to be them “coming back”.

    Fernandes’ team may have the Chapman family’s blessing but that doesn’t mean much either. If I had a famous father in business, I too would like the name resurrected, but it wouldn’t be my father’s business if 16 years had gone since its dissolution, even if they got the odd old manager back in.

    That’s why you won’t see any bluster from me about Proton’s latest move. The posturing may be childish, but they weren’t the first to try and run off someone else’s good name.

  4. I like Will Buxton’s take on the matter: (paraphrased)
    “I don’t call McLaren ‘Vodafone’ so why would I call Renault ‘Lotus'”

    1. Because Vodafone aren’t part-owners of McLaren.

  5. That’s a farce!
    That’s not my team any more.
    I’m so f…

  6. Why still debating? One could find another name…say…Brabham!

  7. I’m hoping to race a Lotus Exige in Australian GT Championship next year, with a Toyota engine.

    I like the idea of the road cars linked to the F1 team.

    But in truth i don’t feel either F1 team have enough Chapman DNA to qualify as the ‘real’ Lotus.

    And as a marketing professional I would suggest that the projection of brand is being done terribly in both cases. Name does not equal brand.


  8. ConfusedLotusFan
    8th December 2010, 21:49

    Lotus Racing, as next year they will (hopefully) be Team Lotus

  9. Dany Bahar has now come out and said that four Lotus cars on the grid “suits him”. Of course it suits him! He’s getting free publicity from Fernandes!

  10. Of course it’s neither, but last year I supported “Team Lotus” and I will continue to do so in 2011

    1. Uh, that should read This Year

  11. I read an article somewhere when the arguments about Tony buying “Team Lotus” started which states that what Tony bought may not actually give him the right to run a Lotus team but does give him the right to prevent anyone else from using the Lotus name in F1. So could Tony actually prevent Bahar from using the name Lotus next year?

    1. If the courts uphold the law…

  12. Lotus Cars looks like they are in F1 for the money.
    Lotus Racing on the other hand, has Fernandes and a Team focused on winning in F1.

    So basically Lotus Cars has no Heart..

  13. If the team has the backing of the widdow and son of Colin, it has the right to use the name & therefore is the Lotus. I feel on balance the backing of his family & his mechanics from Classic Team Lotus weigh heavily in Lotus Racing/Team Lotus favour.

    I have no respect for Group Lotus, I will no longer support them or Kubica, who I admire, but will not support as long as he is a part of that team.

  14. Unfortunately, my prediction is that in a couple of years time the Lotus brand will be completely ridiculed by these clowns!

    Moral lesson from this story: never sell your brand name (and especially to people who have no respect about it)

  15. Blake Merriam
    9th December 2010, 8:01

    Frankly, Red Bull has better brand integrity at this point. “F” Lotus.

  16. it depends which way you look at it, lotus racing are the real lotus f1 team and group lotus are the real lotus car manufacturer.

    for the record, the new lotus renault team make no claim to the original lotus f1 teams history, or accomplishments.

    it’s a silly argument, but i really doubt that group lotus will allow tony fernandes to race with thier brand name anymore….

    1. Daniel Bigham
      9th December 2010, 10:12

      It isn’t Group Lotus’ history to licence out, it’s Team Lotus’ history, which Group Lotus didn’t acquire, David Hunt did. Please read http://www.saveteamlotus.com/

      1. i know, what point does that make? as i said the new team aren’t claiming the history. they are being sponsored by the company group lotus.

        for me it’s a pointless argument, group lotus can sponsor whoever they want. i don’t imagine them being overly happy with a second team using their brand identity though.

        i think this will be resolved in there being one lotus team, lotus renault gp and the other team being known as 1 malaysia racing.

        it’s a shame, but at the end of the day we should be glad that lotus the brand are back in f1. it may not be the same team, but at least lotus are involved rather than just selling the name.

        1. Actually Group Lotus have said they don’t mind there being two Lotus’ because it means “THEY” have four cars instead of two.

  17. As much as you can argue that no team is Lotus in the classic sense, it’s not really about that. The fact is that Fernandes had the backing and has done the name proud. They have built a fanbase and seem like a good bet for the future. It’s disrespectful to drag the Lotus name into disripute and the only people doing that are Lotus Group.

    Had they finished 12th it makes you wonder whether or not Group Lotus would be here now making their stake with Renault.

  18. Didn’t the early Lotus Europa models come with Renault power? They did here in the US.

  19. I really don’t care who the real Lotus is, as they’re both different entities and so be it. However, I do wish the fighting over the name would go away. Certainly in public and the little sniping remarks from ‘green and yellow’ lotus.

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