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. dyslexicbunny said on 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.

  2. Chrizz said on 8th December 2010, 15:58

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Valentino said on 8th December 2010, 16:11

    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?

  5. chapmankillie said on 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.

  6. LewisC said on 8th December 2010, 16:42

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

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5123/5244302288_c11c7ff4fe_b.jpg

  7. 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. ?

  8. LewisC has made a brilliant chart!

  9. Adrian said on 8th December 2010, 17:16

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

  10. Raikkonen said on 8th December 2010, 17:40

    Yay! Everyone overreacts!

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

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Calum said on 8th December 2010, 18:33

    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.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 9th December 2010, 3:57

      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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