Mario Andretti, Lotus, Jarama, 1978

Lotus vs Lotus: Time to stop the nonsense

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mario Andretti, Lotus, Jarama, 1978
Mario Andretti, Lotus, Jarama, 1978

The high court’s decision on Monday to hear the case over the Lotus naming rights row in March means the matter could be settled earlier than originally expected.

But is it too much to hope for an outbreak of sanity before the season begins?

It would be in the best interests of the sport not to go into the first race of 2011 with two teams each calling themselves ‘Lotus’.

Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP, as they prefer to be called, would each have us believe that they are the ‘real’ Lotus.

Some may find it acceptable to have two Lotus teams in Formula 1. After all, there are two teams called Red Bull (Toro Rosso is Italian for Red Bull).

But the Lotus situation is not a case of one company owning two teams. This is two different companies trying to claim the legacy of an earlier team.

There is enormous potential for confusion and that’s why it’s a problem for Formula 1. The Premier League does not have two Manchester Uniteds. The National Football League does not have two teams from Dallas calling themselves the Cowboys.

The confusion has been needlessly added to and aggravated by some publications taking sides.

Last month Autosport announced Group Lotus’s deal with Renault with a front cover splash unambiguously headed “The real Lotus is back”. This was followed a month later by a 20-page spread on Group Lotus’s motor racing plans which referred to Team Lotus as “1 Malaysia Racing Team”.

The current FIA entry list points the way to a clear means of distinguishing between the two using their constructor names.

It refers to Renault F1 Team (now Lotus Renault GP) as ‘Renault’ and Team Lotus as ‘Lotus’. This is the convention I’m sticking to for the time being.

But the silly row over name-calling, the tit-for-tat press releases and gloating Tweets, all reflect poorly on Formula 1.

With launch season almost upon us it’s time for Jean Todt to consider whether it’s in the best interests of the sport to let it continue.

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164 comments on “Lotus vs Lotus: Time to stop the nonsense”

  1. I wish we didn’t have to refer to either of them as Lotus. Neither of them deserve it.

    1. I tend to agree. Neither in all honesty are the Lotus of the 1970s. Renault are sponsored by Lotus cars, and 1 Malaysia Racing have bought the rights to the name Team Lotus. Both appear to have the rights to name the teams as they have done. Just wish it hadn’t happened as it will be confusing for the casual fan. It is the last thing F1 needs now, especially as it appears it is back on the up with more fans, more viewers, more teams etc…

    2. Agreed. However Group Lotus are still technically called Lotus.

      I’d like it if both teams abandoned their so-called links with the historic racing team – Fernandes can race under a Team AirAsia banner or something like that, while Proton / Group Lotus can act just like any other sponsor – put their logo on the Renault if they want, but abandon the ‘historic’ livery.

      1. What I don’t get is why Renault are so keen to deny their own racing history in order to take on the history of another team… Renault have a fantastic reputation as an engine manufacturer, with numerous Renault powered engines taking both Drivers and Constructors World championships….

        They can also chase their pedigree back to Benetton, the team that finally and convincingly broke the stranglehold of Ferrari and Schumacher enjoyed over F1 for the best part of a decade.

        I can understand why Team Lotus wants the name, it added a lot of magic to their campaign last season in both TV and sponsorship deals that I think they would have struggled to attract had they been Team AsiaAir….

        I feel that Team Lotus did not just themselves but F1 in general a huge favour by giving many people something to care about when it came to the new teams, I think all 3 teams would have had a far tougher time without the added spotlight that the Lotus brand brought to the back of the grid struggle.

        1. The problem here is, there is not much Renault left in the outfit anymore.

          Not only do they have minority share, they also plan to sell it and exist in sport only as engine supplier. They have already made that decision public.

          In light of that, you can’t really blame a perfectly good team that worked so hard last year to look for a “new identity”.

          Pity it led to such a farce.

        2. They can also chase their pedigree back to Benetton, the team that finally and convincingly broke the stranglehold of Ferrari and Schumacher enjoyed over F1 for the best part of a decade.

          Er, Schumacher was the guy who won championships with the Benetton?

          1. The Williams cards that won in the 90’s were Renault powered.

          2. I suppose that is meant to be a second point, i.e. that team winning the title as Renault with Alonso driving it?

          3. opps you are right, forgot that Renault had taken over when Alonso won his 2 titles.

        3. Couldn’t agree more. Renault have far more to gain by getting their own name on the podium – even if it is only as an occasional challenger to the bigger teams. Team Lotus did do a good job last year, but the result of all this stupidity is that both teams appear fake and lacking credibility as a real racing team, with Renault looking like the playground bully snatching sweets off the new kid. Sad.

    3. I wish we didn’t have to refer to either of them as Lotus. Neither of them deserve it.

      I wish Renault could have just stayed out of it and been Renault…

    4. I wish we didn’t have to refer to either of them as Lotus. Neither of them deserve it.
      Lotus Cars have every right to call themselves Lotus. Because they own Lotus cars. That’s like saying “Okay, Ferrari, you can call yourself anything you like, but nor ‘Ferrari’, even though you own Ferrari”.

      1. To that I’d point out Fernandes acquired the rights to Team Lotus from hunt, who had gotten them in 94. Tony’s team Lotus, IS the real Lotus.

        The Ferrari example is a bad one. A better one would be the Chinese (I think) chain also called lotus claiming Team Lotus history, despite never competing in F1. Because that’s exactly what group Lotus are doing.

        Group Lotus has every right to call themselves Lotus, but the fact that they claim to be the heirs of team Lotus is disgusting.

        Group Lotus has never competed in a GP as of now, despite what they will tell you.

        1. … or if the US food importer Ferrari Foods decided to sponsor and buy into an F1 team and call themselves Ferrari Renault GP…

          1. That would be awesome! Luca di Montezemelo would throw such a tantrum if such a team name came up!

        2. Douglas62500
          13th April 2011, 4:48

          Exactly. As long as Fernandes got the legal rights to the original Team Lotus that collapsed in 1994, he is the new owner, so the current Lotus team is the real deal, and it doesn’t matter if the management team has changed to Malaysian ones, as by law they have inherited 100% rights. Group Lotus is just making themselves look silly really, by buying in what seems to be instant success by what is just gold stickers on RenaultF1’s cars. What’s more, you don’t call this team Lotus, because similarly, you don’t call Williams as AT&T F1, you don’t say Mercedes as Petronas GP, or calling Mclaren as Vodafone Mercedes do you ??

    5. I think they do, just look at what the name stands for,

      1. Whoa, hold on there. Did you just make that up?

      2. dyslexicbunny
        27th January 2011, 15:04

        I see what you did there.

  2. I think this is all a ploy to drum up some column off-season column inches. Bernie’s behind it all, I’m telling you, it’s probably exactly what he wants for the off season. Without racing, F1 has only political scandal to keep everyone interested. Some people look at silly games like this and think “Only in Formula 1!” but I reckon there’s a reason that it happens and that reason is 5’3.

    1. I reckon there’s a reason that it happens and that reason is 5’3.

      Comment of the day!

    2. Superb! :O)

    3. Without a shadow of a doubt COTD! Keith, hope you’re paying attention!

  3. i think lotus from last year deserve it, the amount of work they have done deserves reward and praise. FIA should simply say ‘sorry we already have a team called lotus’ !!!

    1. That becomes problematic though, because Group Lotus has every right to sponsor a team if they want, and they are called Lotus. The whole situation is kind of tricky. I wish Bahar hadn’t been such a *****, and just supported Fernandes’ team, none of these problems would exist, and the R31 would still have the fantastic bumble bee livery.

      1. Black and Yellow came out soon after, Renault missed a big ghetto fabulous opportunity there!

  4. Eno The Wonderdog
    26th January 2011, 10:19

    I believe that Tony Fernandes went into this with the right idea. Yes a new team but to hopefully honour the past. He went out of his way to include the chapman family, used a ‘traditional’ colour scheme.

    Please contrast with the man that is after HOW MUCH in loans through Proton – racing in everything – building new cars 5 this year.. oh and HOW MUCH??

    ..and supposedly the original 5 year deal wasn’t Bahar’s fault but because (now) Team Lotus made a T-shirt that destroyed Group Lotus’s market value??

    This is all to do with Malaysian politics – not racing. Fernandes took the failing air fleet and made it into the only air fleet making money today.. the pollies can’t have THAT happen with Proton and (the other one who’s name eludes me) can they??

    1. Qantas makes money.

  5. Me too Keith. I’m very disappointed Todt has said nothing about the teams’ conduct. Seems 151c is only there when you need team principles who are a threat to you out of the way. Incidentally, aren’t Renault still under the 2-year suspended ban?

    1. Yeah, that’s something I’ve wanted to know. Is there a deadline before which the ban must be enforced? Or if the team were to collapse for whatever reason, would they have to face some other penalty for not serving out the ban?

    2. A suspended sentence means that they will only serve it if they break regulations again. Provided Renault don’t get up to any further tomfoolery in the next season they will be in the clear. Tteam themselves supposedly didn’t know anything about the conspiracy, and so the mainstay of the punishment fell on Flavio and Simmons.

      1. How is having 2 Lotus teams and a high court hearing NOT bringing the sport into disrepute?

        1. Nothing to do with what’s happeneing on-track except for the names and colours of 4 cars?

          1. Why don’t we simplify it a bit more and just call them ‘the green team’ and ‘the black team’ so neither gets preferential treatment. so as far as i am concerned neither are called lotus – at least until March

          2. Bringing the sport into disrepute does not necessarily mean “only things that happen on the track”. This situation if it rumbles on could suggest to the viewer that the sport is unable to govern itself and control the competitors adequately. That in itself could bring the sport into disrepute.

    3. I would also gather, the FIA does have some claut over Renault / the Enstone squad from the suspended ban.

      And certainly Bernie should be able to get some deal done, he deals out the dough.

      To an extent, it shows how good a job Fernandez has been doing, otherwise both Todt and Bernie would have long ago sided with the bigger partie, i.e. Proton.

  6. The bottom line is, ignoring the history which neither of them have a claim to, today in 2011 who is the real “Lotus”.

    Well, you have to say its Group Lotus with a history of Lotus Cars stretching back decades. Elan, Esprit, Elise, Exige etc.

    Tony Fernandes obviously had a dream of one day owning Group Lotus but that, for the time being, has been kicked into touch. Now he comes across as desperate to hold onto a name & history which was never really his.

    I respect Tony and Mike, and what they’ve done with the team. But now its time to admit defeat, create a new name for the team and move on to write the future and create a new and exciting history for us all.

    1. Loath as I am to get into this, Exige, Esprit etc. are all names linked with Lotus Cars. Lotus Cars was a seperate entity to the F1 team, so they have no mroe real link to the previous Lotus in F1 than Fernandes’ team.

      But again, this is just the sort of issue which the gernal public who tune in to watch a race (especially now it is in HD!) couldn’t care less about, and half an hour of race build up with people referring to teams by several different names is going to hurt the image of the sport.

      Where has the ‘disrepute’ law gone just when you need it?

      1. Apologies for my atrocious typing…

      2. I refer to this lower down in the comments, but common-sense dictates that they are not really seperate. Colin Chapman founded them both and only created them separate to protect one from the other. Lotus Cars was created to help fund Team Lotus. Much like Scuderia Ferrari and their Road Car Division. This is also what Dany Bahar has in mind to bring them back together into a logical conclusion, and he is very experienced in the Ferrari model.

        I believe, this is also what Tony Fernandes had in mind to eventually buy an ailing Group Lotus. It’s just unfortunate for him that Proton developed another plan.

        1. Exactly there are two entities called Lotus that do similar things.

          I don’t get confused with Apple records and Apple music. Why is this so hard?

          Group Lotus has Lotus Cars’ history.

          Team Lotus history belonged to Hunt, he sold it to Fernandes.

          1. You may not get confused but the deal was for Apple computers to have nothing to do with music. The fact they did has cost them millions in high court settlements over the years.

          2. Yeah I know, in that case everyone is happy with legal rights to be settled in the way you usually settle legal rights though. We’re not seeing the same thing here. You don’t see fans of Apple music or Apple computers telling either company they should change their name all over forums everywhere. Both have hoards of dedicated fans, but none of them is bothered, why are F1 fans not able to be reasonable?

        2. Only Bahar did not even try to convince David Hunt to sell them the Team Lotus, even when they had exclusity on that early last year. Nor have Proton done so in the past.

          They now want to ride on the success for free. That car company has as much to do with Chapmans Lotus as the currently chinese owned Jaguar and Range Rover are originally british and market british cars. They are all just milking the brand there.

    2. And also if you ignore the history it still sounds to the casual viewer that one team has cars built by Lotus, and the other has cars built by Lotus and Renault working together. What, is the front end Renault and the rear end Lotus?!?

    3. No the name and history belonged to Hunt and he sold it to Fernandes.

  7. One would like to work their way to the top, the other would like to buy their way to the top. Both are beginning to annoy me, this has become a joke. Stop throwing your toys out of the pram and sort it out boys…

    1. I seem to remember that Mercedes did just that by buying Brawn.
      Mercedes have long and illustrios history of their own in F1 and they were “heralded as the Silver Arrows” are back

      1. So true, actually. Funny how I didn’t see it that way at the time.

  8. The Premier League does not have two Manchester Uniteds.

    But it does have both Manchester United as well as Manchester City? Which, to me, is about the same as having both Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus.

    The current FIA entry list points the way to a clear means of distinguishing between the two using their constructor names.

    It refers to Renault F1 Team (now Lotus Renault GP) as ‘Renault’ and Team Lotus as ‘Lotus’. This is the convention I’m sticking to for the time being.

    Problem solved, in my view.

    1. I don’t see how Group Lotus can push Team Lotus out of the way. They bought the rights so have the, er, right. Just like Ron Dennis did with McLaren.

      If there’s a Team Lotus provision in their rights to be the only Lotus in F1 then the FIA should act on it.

      If as I suspect there’s no provision for Team Lotus to be the only Lotus in F1, then just let both enter and get on with it.

      What does make me smile though is that Group Lotus chose Renault because it thought they were the more credible and trustworthy team. Better not mention Singapore 2009 then ;)

    2. Was going to point out the same thing.

      To me this is simple, Chapman created two companies, one was a racing team, the other a car manufacturer. The racing team was sold and eventually bought by Tony Fernandes, therefore they have the rights to use the name “Team Lotus”. All this “they’re not the real lotus” is absurd, companies change hands all the time and thinking that F1 is any different to other businesses is naive at best.

      That said, Group Lotus has every right to sponsor an F1 team and as the main sponsor can have the team name prefixed with Lotus. It’s the same thing that applies to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro or Vodafone McLaren.

      1. Completely agree, well put.

  9. I wont be supporting Group Lotus/Renault this year just because of how they have gone about their business. Even if Tony Fernandes has alterior motives for being in F1 and bringing back the Lotus name, I have the upmost respect for them because they started from scratch, respected the past by locating the factory just down the road from the original (and keeping it there), They set realistic targets for the team and the season, they have been in constant contact with the fans through their website and twitter, and more importantly, they have LISTENED to the fans thoughts and acted upon them. It proves that they arent afraid of hard graft, and if they do succeed this year (getting in the points etc) then the satisfaction for them and the fans will have much more substance.
    Group Lotus have done none of the above!!!
    They have bought their way in to try and get short term success.
    They have bribed the Chapman family for their backing with a museum.
    They have bought ‘our Nige’ as an ambassador.
    They say they are’nt trying to claim a connection with the historic Team Lotus, and yet they paint their new car in the historic colours.
    They have set unrealistic business targets with plans to put cars in racing series all over the world despite the company not having any money, and now it has been revealed that they have applied for a massive bank loan to try and fund this, despite there being no real financial returns, at least in the short term (next 5 years) due to the state of the worlds finances
    Bahar is nothing but a greedy bully, he is living is a complete dreamland, and this whole operation is going to fall flat on its face.
    I think EVERYONE should boycott buying any of their merchandise this year as I for one do not want to line his pockets just for him to blow it as if he was a cowboy in a casino!
    When it all goes t*ts up, hopefully Tony will be able to buy Group Lotus and do it properly as he originally planned.

  10. It’s a simple solution: Fernandes’ outfit is strong enough to survive on its own. They’ve proven that they can not only turn a car around in a limited development window, but they can also develop a car throughout the season to the extent where they can make inroads on the deficit to the other teams. As much as I don’t like them right now, they have the credentials to strike out on their own. A rebranding as Team AirAsia or Fernandes Motorsport or whatever name takes their fancy would be accepted up and down pit lane. And if Fernandes is so convinced that he’s in the right, ceding ground to Group Lotus and ending the dispute will make him even more popular. I’m willing to bet that if you polled the fans, they’d welcome Fernandes and his team to the grid, but would not consider the Team Lotus name essential to their success. At the same time, Renault – the common denominator between both teams – could give them a better deal on engines in exchange for a flag of truce.

    Meanwhile, let Lotus Cars continue with Renault. Unpopular as they are, they do have something that taem Lotus does not: a manufacturer. With the demise of Honda, BMW, Toyota and now Renault as a full-time works team, Formula 1 is desperately short of manufacturers. we have Ferrari and we have Mercedes on the grid … and that’s it. While I am no advocate of a grid that is dominated by manufacturers – I believe that more than half the problems in 2009 were a direct result of the manufacturers – I am not in favour of a grid where there is virtually no manufacturer presence. While manufacturers like Marussia are entering the sport, they are still in their infancy and widely unknown outside their home markets, looking to use Formula 1 as a vessel to expand public awareness of their marques. By favouring Bahar and Lotus Cars, Formula 1 will re-establish the presence of manufacturers on the grid. This, in turn, will make the sport more lucrative to any budding manufacturers who are still undecided about a Formula 1 engine program from 2013. As engine development is a very exact science, those manufacturers are going to need as much time as possible to enter the sport or else risk humiliation with a poorly-conceived engine.

    It might be an unpopular decision in the short term (I still maintain the public only favours Team Lotus because Fernandes was in the sport first), but if we play a long game here, Formula 1 will be better off with a grid that is both richer for the presence of another manufacturer and an indepenent teams that can support itself.

    1. This I reckon, howveer Fernandes chance to be the bigger man was about 1 to 2 months ago. Since then his dug himself a whole he won’t be getting out of.

      1. He can get out now with his dignity intact. Winning a court battle is one thing; winning the support of the fans is another thing entirely, and they are by no means mutually inclusive. I don’t know what he thinks is going to happen if he wins, but given that he’s made the mistake of believing his own hype, he’s no doubt going to expect it will attract legions of fans. Honestly, I think that if he goes trumpeting “We won! We won! Suck it, Dany Bahar!”, it’s only going to push people away more. And even if he wins, that’s not going to give him the exclusive rights to the Lotus name. Group Lotus will be perfectly entitled to sponsor Renault because they’re a totally separate entity, just as Fernandes has been making such a big deal of.

        There is a second, alternative solution here, one that will see two Lotus brands on the grid, but with unique identifiers. Rumour has it that Renault are looking to rebadge Red Bull’s engines as Infiniti, parallel to a push into the European market. Infiniti is the luxury car brand of Renault’s sister company Nissan, just as Lexus is the luxury marque of Toyota. If Renault changed their plans and dubbed the engines in Team Lotus as Infiniti, we’d then have Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus Infiniti. It does nothing to settle the squabble between the two teams, but what it does do is give each team a unique identifier, so that fans and commentators alike can tell them apart; they’ll naturally be described as “Lotus Renault” and “Lotus Infiniti”.

    2. A much more eloquent way of making the point I was trying to make further up the thread. At this stage I think F1 would be strengthened by a rebranding of Fernandes’ Lotus to ‘Team AirAsia’, not weakened.

    3. Screw being the bigger man. If he’s in the right why should he change. As far as I’m concerned it’s the fans who are in the wrong, we’re all jumping up and down saying “it’s confusing” and “I don’t like you any more because you’re squabbling.” It’s not fair of us. Chapman created two Lotuses, they have different owners. We should just accept that.

      1. If he’s in the right why should he change.

        Because given the way he’s been going, being in the right is probably going to do more harm than good.

        1. Why pick on Fenandes though? He has one car related name at his disposal. Group Lotus have more than one. They could quite easily sponsor the team using the Proton name?

          The owners of Lotus Cars have know for quite some time that they didn’t own the rights to the Team Lotus F1 team, I believe they even tried to buy it from Hunt, but he wouldn’t sell. Knowing that to be the case, they must have known something like this was a possibility, why not make plans to enter F1 using the Proton name?

          1. Why pick on Fenandes though?

            Why not? His comments and his Tweets show that he believes his own hype and they are filled with what is bordering on Cold War rhetoric. He clearly lays claim to the Team Lotus history as his team’s own, despite promises at the beginning of 2010 that they would not.

            But most of all, he can survive outside the Lotus name, where Lotus Cars cannot. They can’t use the Proton name because Proton is not evocative or arousing. Proton do not manufacture sports cars. They are not a performance or a luxury marque. Most people treat them the same way they do a Hyundai or a Kia. They do not attract attention; they attract disdain. They have no business being in Formula 1, but a manufacturer like Lotus Cars does belong.

          2. Exactly. Sure, he wants his prize for it (just as David Hunt before) and Bahar, nor Group Lotus nor Proton have showed any intent of wanting to pay for the Team Lotus heritage in the past 10 or so years.

            Why give them this for free and let them squander the Team Lotus heritage with over expensive, heavy cars without even paying the price for doing so?

          3. I meant why pick on Fernandes and not Bahar? You’re arbitrarily it seems decided which one you think needs to cede for the greater good.

            You see in modern society when two people or groups disagree about something lucrative they go to court and let people skilled in the legalities sort it out. There’s noting wrong with that.

            Proton has no business being in F1 eh? That’s stupid. I suppose Skoda has no business being in WRC too? Being in F1 is about building your reputation as a maker of fast precision motor cars, and de veloping technologies and processes that can be utilised in your road cars, that seems to me to be something Proton could use.

            At the beginning of 2010 Fernandes didn’t have the rights to the Team Lotus history, now he does, he bought it from David Hunt. The situation has changed. Why is that so hard to grasp?

          4. ou’re arbitrarily it seems decided which one you think needs to cede for the greater good.

            It’s not arbitrary at all. Fernandes is the only one in a position where he can cede ground and end the dispute.

            I suppose Skoda has no business being in WRC too?

            I have no issue with Skoda being in rallying. But Proton in Formula 1? Do you really think that’s a good match? I don’t know about you, but when I think of Formula 1, I think of performance cars. Not dodgy disposable cars that are universally reviled. The Lotus Cars name offers more to Formula 1 than Proton ever could.

          5. I think you’re a bit too precious about what “names” are good for Formula 1, given some of the teams that have entered in the past.

            I’d much rather have the name of a car manufacturer in F1 than a team named after a country. But it’s not up to me who enters.

            I thought HRT was an odd choice for a name too, given that the Holden Racing Team in Australia has used that acronym for more than a decade racing in Australia, what happens if they want to enter? Do we tell Hispania that Holden had the acronym as a racing team first, or do Hispania have the rights because they started using it in F1 first?

            If that’s the perception most people have of Proton, then it can only help their reputation racing in F1.

            Here is a quote from Proton from when they were considering a WRC prgram in 2009: “The Satria is not known as a performance car, but we have a very big following in Asia and this car would turn that into the sort of cult following that Subaru developed. The WRC is very interesting, we’d be fighting with the big boys – the chance to take on manufacturers like Ford and Citroen, albeit using a much smaller budget, is something we would welcome,” said Dawood.

            That’s Proton looking to use racing to develop their name. Why was that a good option in 2009 but not now?

    4. Don’t forget McLaren as a car manufacturer. They’ve joined that club now as well.

      One small issue remains the constructor names. Renault will never be able to change its (would Mallya, Branson/Wirth, Carabante, Sauber and Williams agree with them keeping their prize money?) and Team Lotus would also need Bernie to push serious incentives to these guys to change theirs at this moment in time.

      1. Don’t forget McLaren as a car manufacturer. They’ve joined that club now as well.

        I have’t forgotten them. But they’re much closer to Marussia than Ferrari in terms of their size and exposure.

  11. So is it all about being able to hitch the F1 heritage of the name ‘Lotus’ onto the team? I think it would be more honest for them to not do that and instead present a new, modern face of the brand through F1. I’d have more respect for their efforts if one (or both) were trying to do that. And as Group Lotus (with a car brand to sell), they should be the ones doing that imho.

  12. This is two different companies trying to claim the legacy of an earlier team.

    it’s not at all though is it? where have lotus renault said that they are going to try to lay claim to the achievements / legacy of the original lotus team?

    this is about what the FIA value more, a car manufacturer owning it’s own team or an airline owner owning the naming rights to an old team.

    1. where have lotus renault said that they are going to try to lay claim to the achievements / legacy of the original lotus team?

      Actions speak louder than words. Have you seen their livery?

      1. Not to mention that their headquarters are apparently decorated entirely with Team Lotus pictures…

      2. Look at their website. They claim a direct link to Team Lotus’s glory days.

    2. Renault / Proton / Group Lotus did put out press releases for legal reasons to say they dont.

      But look at their livery, look at the Lotus factory and Proton lobby and their claims of “returning” to the sport. Now who are they kidding?

  13. The best will be if he court says that no one will be using the name ‘Lotus’ in F1. Then one will become Team Malaysia other UK Renault!

    1. That’s very unlikely, because both teams are using different variations on the Lotus name. The courts can’t stop Lotus Cars from using their own name. And if they could, the team probably wouldn’t be known as “UK Renault”.

      1. 1) Yes they can PM. If the High Court finds that Team Lotus has the trademarks and rights to use ‘Lotus’ in F1 then they can sue GL for damages. Damages being the money lost because potential sponsers don’t want to sponser the ‘wrong lotus’ and money lost because there team name that they have the rights to use is being used out of there control.

        Lotus is GL’s name, but if TL owns the Lotus name trademarks etc.. in F1 (which they do) then GL can’t use it.

        It’s the same as if two companies from different parts of the world have the same name. One makes clothing and one makes tructs using the same name say. If the truck making company starts making clothes and competing against the clothes making company there, then the clothes making company has the right to stop the truck making company from using the name in clothes.

        Just substitute truck making company for GL, clothing company for TL and the clothing industry for F1.

        source: I know way too much law

        2) In defence of two Lotus’ in Australia A-league has two Melbourne teams, Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory.

        And AFL has Port Adelaide and Adelaide. Aswell as Melbourne and North Melbourne. Sydney and Greater Western Sydney. The swans used to be South Melbourne to ad to that.

        But in all seriousness. Lotus Renault GP = Renault. It’s constructors name is Renault. It came last to the party. But mostly it’s constructors name. It is Renault. End of Story. Renault

        Team Lotus-Renault is Lotus. Constructors name is Lotus. Lotus.

        We either call each team by it’s full name, e.g.
        Who will be the top driver at Vodaphone McLaren-Mercedes? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it will be closer at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro this year.


        We simply do what we have done in the past and use their constructors names.

        1. Everyone keeps using two Manchesters, etc. as examples, but that’s very different. Manchester is the name of a place, which no one owns the naming rights to. Lotus is a company name. Again, the best analogy I can think of would be if Ferrari Foods decided to sponsor a team, for the sake of argument let’s say Sauber. They decide that they’re going to buy in to Sauber and call the team Ferrari Sauber F1. There’s a McLaren Foods as well. Maybe they should sponsor HRT…

          1. Everyone keeps using two Manchesters, etc. as examples, but that’s very different. Manchester is the name of a place, which no one owns the naming rights to.

            That wasn’t my point – clearly there are two Manchester-based teams in the Premier League and that’s not a problem. But if there were two teams both calling themselves Manchester United it would be.

          2. Ironically I doubt that ferrari would have much of a problem with Sauber as Sauber do use Ferrari engines it would be a Ferrari Sauber-Ferrari. Not bad huh?

            I don’t think there should be two Lotus’ and as I said I think it will come down to the high court telling GL that TL has the rights to use Lotus in F1. TL then sotps GL from using Lotus in TL through the courts in the name of ‘damages’ (loss of sponsorship, potential sponsorship, etc..). And Renault will be Renault or something else whiel TL will be Team Lotus.

  14. If you look at Group Lotus and their buildings and marketing, its got Team Lotus and Colin Chapman achievements all over it.

    Thing is, common-sense does say they have that in some ways. The “original” Team Lotus and Group Lotus were founded by Colin Chapman and are only separate entities to protect on from the other, fundamentally they are not different than Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Road Car Division.

    I don’t like how Group Lotus handled this, fair enough they changed their mind about Tony Fernandes’ operation and decided with Dany Bahar to go big on the road car aspirations and sponsor a front running team with a view, should all be successful, to outright own the team in time. In Dany’s mind is the Ferrari model he was so involved with.

    I just wish they had backed out of Tony’s deal gracefully and with honour, instead of stabbing him in the back.

    1. fundamentally they are not different than Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Road Car Division.

      Except that Ferrari has always been one company, not totally separate companies like Lotus Cars and Team Lotus. Steve Jobs founded both Apple and Pixar, but does Apple try and claim Pixar’s legacy? No, that would be just as absurd as Proton claiming Team Lotus’ legacy, when they have already been informed multiple times in court that they do not own that history or its intelectual properties.

  15. Stress-testing the new servers, Keith?

    Sure-fire way to send the new boxes into meltdown, posting a Lotus vs NotUs article… ;)

  16. I started hating all those Lotus guys – I lost the trail, seriously. I don’t know who’s who, even though they get more media coverage than Ferrari. And therefore, I would not care about them anymore, even if they are gone from F1. Just leave Kubica in the seat, whatever seat that is.

  17. As Tony Fernandes licensed the Lotus Racing moniker from Group Lotus doesn’t that imply an acknowledgement on his part that Group Lotus can race using it or any other “Lotus” variation?

    1. That’ll probably be part of Proton’s legal argument I’m sure.

      1. and Fernandes’ response. There was no Lotus in F1 then.

        Fernandes would probably also argue that GL used a minor brake in contract in ana ttempt to override his team for the next season

  18. Jean Todt is busy campaigning for road safety, so please don’t bother him. ;)

    Personally, I don’t see why there couldn’t be two Lotuses in F1 at the same time: a Lotus racing team (Team Lotus) and the Lotus road cars manufacturer as a sponsor to another racing team (Renault F1). They’ve both spent tens of millions of euros to participate in F1, so they’ve got every right to be there — unless the judge decides otherwise, of course.

    1. Thing is, road car manufacturer wants to become THE racing team too. There lies the rub.

    2. I guess this could all come down to who owns what name…

      Group Lotus
      Lotus Cars
      Team Lotus

      …and whether or not anyone actually owns just “Lotus”… possibly not. In which case, there is no winner or loser (except us the fans), and 2 Lotus’es (Loti?) on the grid.

      The judge’s biggest headache will probably be over the termination of Tony Fernandes deal with Group Lotus.

  19. Renault is Lotus.
    Renault is Lotus?
    Is Lotus Renault or is it Lotus Renault?
    I’m not getting it.
    Who from Lotus works at Renault?
    Was Renault stealing secret Lotus drawings from ’72 onwards?
    How come Renault is Lotus then … or now?
    I’m not a native English speaker, maybe this is why I’m not getting it.
    Excuse my English … or French? :-)

    1. At the moment, Renault is Lotus in the same way that Ferrari is Marlboro, McLaren is Vodafone and Mercedes is Petronas. Group Lotus is just the title sponsor as of now.

      The problem is that Tony Fernandes owns the rights to call an F1 Chassis “Lotus”. So Group Lotus can’t buy out the Renault team and become the only Lotus racing team as many people suspect they want to.

      1. It just gets more confusing for me – why is it a problem that Tony Fernandes owns the rights for an F1 chassis to be called “Lotus”?

        1. It is a problem because we now haev a Team Lotus (constructor: Lotus) and Lotus Renault (sponsor: Lotus) on the grid.

          Team Lotus (Fernandes) doesn’t like another team being called Lotus on the grid.
          Group Lotus doesn’t want another team being called Lotus on the grid.

          Fernandes owns the rights to use it in F1 and hence wants Group Lotus to leave f1.

          Group Lotus can call road cars Lotus and has decided that Fernandes is wrong.

          Group Lotus has decided that sponsoring a team is the same as having a team called Team Lotus and is trying to claim Team Lotus’ history as theres.

          Team Lotus says they are a reincarnation of Team Lotus and since they are Team Lotus and have the rights to be Team Lotus in f1, then thye are Lotus

  20. I agree with other here who think that Dany Bahar’s vision for Group Lotus is going to end in tears…

    I also like Team Lotus, not because they’re called Lotus, but because they’re the plucky underdog trying to make it in the sport.

    For me I think TF should cede the Lotus name and rebrand his team line with his GP2 operation – Team Air Asia.

    Then, if as many think, Group Lotus ends up for sale then Tony can swoop in and buy the company anyway and then have the option of once again owning a Lotus team in F1.

  21. I believe that at this point, the FIA should ban new outfits from using historic teams’ names (unless its the same original owner)

    I am a romantic, and would like to see back historic names; Lotus, Ligier, March, Tyrrell, Arrows, Minardi, etc but its just confusing the fan. If I name my child Ayrton Senna it will not make him a future champ.

    1. I don’t know about that. Naming your child Fernando Alonso might make him 0.6s faster per lap :D

      1. He’ll be faster than my child if I were to name him Felipe… ;-)

        1. Only when both are dressed in red :-)

      2. and a Felipe giving way?

    2. If you own the brand you should have the right do whatever you want with the brand. If you want to buy an F1 team and bring it back to racing F1, that is your prerogative.

  22. To me, as someone who had and treasured a 1973 corgi lotus in jps black and gold sat on a trailer pulled by a lotus elite, who smoked a jps cigarette becasue they were a Lotus’ sponsor, who’s first favourite driver was Mario Andretti because he drover for Lotus and was greatly saddened by their decline… I couldnt care less if they ran 3 Lotus teams, the soul of the team died years ago and whilst its nice to see the name, it has no credibility, it doesnt mean anything. Whether a bunch of Koreans or Zargs call it Lotus or hocus pocus is emotionally a non issue.

    1. Amen!

      It was a nice touch for Gascoyne/Fernandez to bring the Lotus name back into F1, but now this is starting to get really tedious.

      Fernandez has a nice team of people perfectly capable of builing their own legacy. A shame the current Group Lotus did not grab the opportunity to become part of that.
      And the Enstone team (ex-Toleman, ex-Benetton, ex-Renault, sort of) have enough of their own history to show off, instead of going for someone else’s.

  23. In my view, one team has a majority stake and title sponsorship from Lotus, and one owns a name.

    Now in my view, similar to Prisoner Monkeys, is that the title sponsorship and majority stake of a manufacturer is better for F1 in the long run compared to a new team that has bought the naming rights of an old team.

    I think they should be known as Lotus Renault F1 and Fernandes GP OR AirAsia Lotus GP, if they really want to keep the Lotus in there, but it would be an unwise move.

    1. Well, so far Group Lotus has no stake at all in the team it is sponsoring. The team Lotus Renault GP is 100% owned by Genii Capital.

      1. How would not baking down be an unwise move. Basics of business. Know what your doing, and stick to your guns.

  24. There is no point taking sides. Both parties are businesses trying to make a profit and protect their investments.
    Fernandes entered (for whatever reason) F1 and licensed the Lotus names for 5 years. A clever ploy as a new team could tap into an established fan-base, have a nice name to attract sponsors and create strong tied with the Malaysian government and its money. This could at -the very least- increase its chances of survival in the cutthroat environment of F1. Even if everything didn’t go as planned, 5 years down the road the team could be strong enough to shed the Lotus name without consequences (they can change their name every 5 years, can’t they?) and continue on its own.
    Now, they lost the name after only one year and that puts them in real trouble. No decent brand and loss of concorde agreement’s cash could spell death for such a small and unproven team.
    On the other hand, Group Lotus want advertising and fast. Their ambitious plans cannot work in such a small time frame unless they find lots of money themselves.
    Think about it, all they’ve been doing the past year is creating a lot of noise (5 new cars, motorsport etc) and the reason is probably to show that they are strong, ambitious, successful and wealthy enough so that investors (banks?) wage their money on them. In fact they secured HUGE loans lately (half a billion to such a small-time manufacturer is a lot)…

    1. Next time, I’ll check my posts before submitting them. That way, I’ll probably avoid making so many elementary mistakes…

  25. Group Lotus are nothing more than a SPONSOR, there should be zero confusion. As I posted on JA’s blog, putting stickers on other peoples cars does not give you the right to use the sport as a soapbox.

    500+ million fans watch F1 with a passion for those directly involved in the building and racing formula one cars, not corporate marketing departments that write cheques with the sole aim of furthering their unrelated agendas.

    If Group Lotus dissappeared from the face of the Earth next week, F1 2011 would not be any different – what does that tell you…

  26. If the judge rules that the termination by Group Lotus of the 5-year licence deal from Tony was illegal, we will have 2 “Lotus” teams. Simple as that.
    Personally I wouldn’t mind at all. If only they don’t continue that STUPID “we are the real Lotus” bs. There is the link to Lotus. Now do someting new, fresh and innovative with it.

    If Lotus Group needs money, how come they are so opposed against a situation in which they ARE PAID to get their brand advertised in Formula 1??
    Team Lotus, as a newcomer, established itself immediately as one of the most sympathetic teams out there. Having the name Lotus surely helped them get established, but it wasn’t just that.
    If Team Lotus acted like HRT, I would have agreed with Bahar that he wants to cut all ties immediately. But Team Lotus has its stuff together. At least, that’s the feeling I have with them.

    I really don’t see what Bahar can have against such a company advertising his brand in Formula 1.
    So I’m one of those who starts disliking Group Lotus, beacuse of this.

    1. Because Bahar is a megalomaniac and must have control over how the team is run.

    2. US_Peter is right. He wants control. He was ditched by Ferrari and now wants to take them on.

      Even better the funding used to sponsor Renault could have been directed to Lotus. Hence causing Lotus to be better and even better advertising.

  27. They all come and go Bernard, bar Ferrari so im not sure thats a measure of worth. In some peoples eyes, certainly team owners, sponsors are the most important people of all.

    Most people involved in racing have a passion for it, a CEO and a CFO might decide to back grand prix racing over horse racing because thats where they want to go.

    Id not assume that just because someone can write a large cheque they are less of a fan or the fact they have “an agenda” lessens it either.

    1. Unfortunately, I think you may have missed my point. That being Group Lotus are nothing more than sponsors at this stage. They have no other impact on the sport besides the cheque handed to Renault in exchange for branding.

      People don’t watch F1 for the sponsors, they watch it for the teams.

  28. As much as I do take sympathy with Fernandes & Co., they have the option to call their team something else more so than Group Lotus.

    It’s about time the FIA stepped in.

  29. Half the time I call them Black Lotus and Green Lotus..

    1. The Last Pope
      26th January 2011, 17:33

      And Ferrari as Red Marlboro? Mclaren as Chrome Vodafone?

      We have Black Renault and Green Lotus, THE END.

  30. If this is sorted out after the start of the season, we could have two Lotuses at the beginning, and then one of them changing name halfway through the season, creating confusion. This needs to be quickly dealt with.

  31. I like your approach Keith – the real test as I’ve said before will be ‘What will Martin Brundle call them?’
    He can’t give them their full official title every time he mentions them, and what he says will stick in the popular conciousness if it gets used for more than a couple of races. The problem is, if he refers to them and Lotus and Renault and Group Lotus object to the BBC, then it gets silly.

    1. The Last Pope
      26th January 2011, 17:48

      The BBC guys will call them what the on screen graphics will, Renault. Martin will probably have to keep informing people why the Renault has a huge lotus logo on the front though.

    2. Why not use the Vic Reeves/Shooting Stars approach: Just use Team A and Team B.

  32. Chapman’s Lotus drew me into F1 in the first place and I was a fan for over two decades.

    I was initially dismayed when it was announced that TF was coming in as Lotus Racing, and by mid-season warmed-up a bit – but not much. I thought that maybe in two or three years they could reach mid-field and maybe even find the next Barnard, Head, Newey, Byrne or Chapman waiting to be discovered. The “old bulldog” could probably do a reasonable technical job till then.

    Now “another pretender” who is jealous of what TF managed to achieve and garner from scratch wants in on the action but on a grander scale – and by the looks of it – beyond their immediate financial reach.

    This is too much. Each of these guys needs a good swift kick up the backside followed with an infusion of common sense.

    1. The Last Pope
      26th January 2011, 18:11

      What about when Renault took over Benneton? Were the Renault team a fake? No, nobody complained that they continued their history from the prevous 1980’s Renault F1 team. The actual people at Renault car company having changed since the 80’s, How is this any different than the name of Team Lotus changing hands now and returning to the sport?

      1. I guess you have forgotten that Benetton used Renault engines for seven years before Benetton were bought in 2000 by Renault. The Benetton name was not changed in 2001, but was changed in 2002. There was no break in F1 participation. There was an orderly, timely transition – neither company were viewed as fakes. Prior to that, there was Renault Sport (Renault subsidiary) that raced as a constructor and engine supplier until 1986 when money became a problem. In 1989, they came back as engine supplier.

        On the other hand, David Hunt’s version of Lotus last raced as Lotus in 1994 and as Pacific Team Lotus in 1995. Well over a decade of NO TEAM LOTUS. Then smoke and mirrors from Asia – voila “Lotus Racing”. Then more smoke and mirrors from Asia – and all of a sudden there is “Team Lotus” and “Lotus Renault”.

        Sorry, but your Benetton/Renault analogy just doesn’t seem to fit – in my humble opinion, of course.

        1. I see an engine supplyer and a team as completly separate things. Yes Benetton had renault engines but that didn’t make the team have anything else linked to renault until they took over. Renault are a car company, they can supply people with car related products.

          By that reasoning it would be ok if David Hunt had used Team Lotus to supply anybody with anything he could make (Team Lotus flowers for example) Then Fernandes could say “Team Lotus has been supplying me with flowers for years, and now it is time for them to re-enter F1 as a team again.”

          F1 teams do not die they sleep. I believe someone always has the right to a team name, that right can be sold, and if the new ownwer wants to awaken it he is within his rights to do so.

          1. I don’t think I’m arguing against that point – “someone always has the right to a team name”. If you can buy it or license it, then it’s yours to use. I also said I was initially dismayed by TF’s Lotus – but I was slowly – very slowly – warming up to it. But now this Lotus Cars, Proton sponsorship, and “no, we have the real Lotus DNA” baloney tarnishes the name that I have admired for the last 46 years and it really annoys me.

  33. I cannot believe Autosport referred to Team Lotus as ‘1Malaysia’ all of a sudden.

    That’s incredibly unprofessional and frankly extremely irritating.

    1. 1MRT is who is fighting the court case, not Team Lotus, so Autosport are correct.

  34. I dont really see how it does anything bad to F1. Its something to talk about and something to joke about.

    I still say we call Renault by there official constructor name!!

  35. Fernandes has to back down because Group Lotus can’t, I mean they have to protect their name, they actually make the cars, they have a right to be there. In any case, Group Lotus have the upper hand in the court case so far so really there is all the incentive for Fernandes to call it a day here, it’s really beyond the point of silly.

    1. The Last Pope
      26th January 2011, 17:51

      None of that is true.

  36. I believe none of them should be called Lotus.
    Team Lotus is death since 1994, and unfortunately you can’t come back from the deaths.

    But the most important for me, is that none of them are respecting the history of Chapman Lotus. Chapman was a visionary, Chapman wanted us to look at his cars and see the future. This guys wanted us to look at his cars and see the past…

    1. amen to that..

  37. We do have a Mclaren Mercedes and a Mercedes Team at the moment.

    1. That’s different because:
      1) Mercedes Benz High-Performance Engines and Mercedes GP are both partly owned by Daimler AG. So there’s no confusion about which is the real Mercedes. Whereas Team Lotus and Group Lotus are two entities under different management.

      2) By the end of next year McLaren Group will have bought back the shares owned by Daimler AG and they will only be a customer team, like Force India.

    2. because the car must be called by its chassis manufacturer followed by its engine; where these are both the same, one will suffice as per Ferrari or Mercedes.
      Most motorsport is the same, ie the Aston martin raced at Le Mans last year would have liked to be called Aston Martin or at worst Aston Martin-lola; but the rules state chassis first and engine second. So it was actually officially called Lola-Aston Martin despite by Aston Martin.
      Which is whay as it strands at present the Fernandes cars will be called Lotus-Renault and the GL sponsored cars will be called Renault. The team may be called Lotus Renault just like others incorporate title sponsors into teir name, eg Cannon Williams Honda, Marlboro Ferrari

  38. So back in the old days you had Group Lotus who made the road cars, and then Team Lotus who raced in Formula 1. They were separate companies, who coincidently happened to be owned by the same person. Then Proton went and bought the Group Lotus brand, and with that the history, and reputation associated with it, and David Hunt bought the brand Team Lotus, and with that the history, and reputation associated with it. David Hunt then sold it to 1Malaysia and they therefore now own the history and reputation associated it with. After this is why brands have value.

    So working this logic, Team Lotus / 1Malaysia are the real Lotus because they bought the right company. If I bought The Coca-Cola Company, it would still be the real Coke, so why is it any different here. It doesn’t matter what the Chapman’s think, they sold out ages ago, they don’t own the company, therefore they have no say. It doesn’t matter that Colin Chapman, is dead. Last time I checked Enzo Ferrari and Bruce McLaren are also dead, and that doesn’t make Ferrari, or McLaren any less “real”.

    1. Yes that is how I see it too. The arguement seems to be that David Hunt didn’t do enough with the Team Lotus brand since it left F1 so their right to the lotus name is gone. I think this is rubbish. Would Group Lotus be able to go to Lotus shoes and say “You haven’t sold enough shoes, We want to make some Group Lotus shoes, you need to disapear now.” ? No. They cannot do that and what they are trying to do here is the same.

    2. This is a very good and accurate summary of the situation. The only conclusion from the courts is that Tony Fernandes owns the rights to Team Lotus and will continue to operate as such, and he should fight hell and teeth to ensure that happens.

      Colin Chapman is dead, and may he RIP.
      Clive Chapman and family sold out long ago and are no longer relevant.
      David Hunt sold “Team Lotus”, and no longer has a say.
      Group Lotus are, and prpbably officially never have been, connected to Team Lotus and therefore they shouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

      I’m crossing all fingers and toes, and hope more than anything (else in F1) that Tony wins this one and can firmly put 2 fingers in the air (as a Victory salute of course) to Group Lotus et al.

  39. I want three Lotus teams!

    1. I have just created a new company named Stationery Lotus. We make flower shaped pencil sharpeners. Hopefully I will be title sponsoring HRT in 2012. The Stationery Lotus HRT cars will have a red and yellow Lotus flower livery, half inspired by the classic gold leaf design. We will be making sure HRT are never left looking for a sharp pencil ever again.

      The REAL Lotus is coming to F1 in 2012.

    2. How about Lotus Schmotus

  40. Ahh Yes…how proud I am to be Malaysian.

    The stupidity of certain parties in our population never ceases to amaze me.

    This is typical of Malaysian politics, its nothing new to us here.

    In my opinion, none of them are the “REAL” Lotus. But Tony’s team is technically more “REAL” than the Renault effort.

    1. Why would Tony’s team be more ‘real’?? He has the rights to the the name. He bought the naming rights, but we all know that is the only thing that he has. He didn’t actually bought the real Lotus team. So there is no more ‘real’ between the 2.

      Group Lotus licensed Tony’s for the use of Lotus name in F1. But look what I found. I don’t know whether he is allowed to do that with that license.

      Would you like someone who you loan your car to work, but he went on and did a 3 laps around Sepang at racing speed???

      Wouldn’t you take back the car, and probably have some ‘talk’ with the guy? Or you let him do it again, because he is good at it???

      1. Well, if the laps he did with my car gave me more publicity and helped bring my business higher up in the public eye, I’d let him do it again. But that’s just me. Dany Bahar thinks differently :)

  41. Keith,
    The last time i checked there are two manchester teams in the Premier League – Man. Utd. and Man. City. The FA doesnt seem to mind and the spectators never get confused between the two.

      1. Yup Keith, my bad.
        The current court case, if im not wrong is about 1MRT breaching a contract with Proton on the use of the brand Lotus Racing, which also include the battle of ownership over the name Team Lotus. Say TF got it in his favor, there ll be 2 Lotuses like there are 2 Manchesters but still there will only be 1 ‘Team Lotus’, like theres only 1 Manchester United. Thats all im saying, people just need to get used to it.

        1. Was actually referring to these confusing parts of ur article…

          “It would be in the best interests of the sport not to go into the first race of 2011 with two teams each calling themselves ‘Lotus’.”

          which u alluded to in..

          “There is enormous potential for confusion and that’s why it’s a problem for Formula 1. The Premier League does not have two Manchester Uniteds. The National Football League does not have two teams from Dallas calling themselves the Cowboys.”

          Got it???

          1. The comparison does not hold at all. Manchester United and Manchester City are two different teams with different histories. Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus are both making claims on the same history.

    1. That’s the worst analogy ever!

  42. A F1 car must be called by its chassis manufacturer followed by its engine; where these are both the same, one will suffice as per Ferrari or Mercedes.
    Most motorsport is the same, ie the Aston martin raced at Le Mans last year would have liked to be called Aston Martin or at worst Aston Martin-lola; but the rules state chassis first and engine second. So it was actually officially called Lola-Aston Martin despite being prepared by prodrive and entered by Aston Martin Racing.
    Which is whay as it strands at present the Fernandes cars will be called Lotus-Renault and the GL sponsored cars will be called Renault. The team may be called Lotus Renault just like others incorporate title sponsors into teir name, eg Cannon Williams Honda, Marlboro Ferrari…but this is not how they will be referred to during the race; and we keen F1 fans will know the difference any way. However casual F1 fans ( and there are millions and millions of them) will be confused to see LOTUS plastered all over the car MB will be calling the Renault and another car refered to by MB as Lotus with little Lotus branding visible. For sponsors this is a minefield and i suspect it is costing Fernandes money already.
    TF lessed Lotus Racing name for 5 years in good faith, it has been removed for no good reason than GL changed their minds. they state breach of contract and took it back. TF knew what they were at and protected his investment by buying the TL name from Hunt.
    Its just messy, and to muddy the waters further when Renault announced the engine supply deal for Fernandes’ team they only mentioned the name 1 Malaysia, not Lotus!!
    GL should have bought out his lease (surely it had a buy back clause), compensated him and allowed him to rename as Air Aisia or Tune Group. I believe due to the way it has been done that he has dug his heels in and to hell with the consequences. The man of the street is generally siding with TF as it seems the smaller company is being screwed by what is effectively a country (GL).
    The FIA dont need to get involved yet because the cars names have not been changed to something identical.

    1. How is it a good faith, when he create a product under Lotus F1 Racing, while he was only licensed to race, even before completing its’ first season?

      Nobody is bullying anybody here. A company is trying to protect it’s interest, while the other is an opportunist.

      Why would a successful businessman want to be in F1 using a name that he doesn’t have any relation to?

  43. Forgetting all the emotive arguments this is a legal matter which will decided by the courts.Its not a question of who deserves it.Its a question of who owns it at Companies House UK.Team Lotus is a UK registered company.The Team Lotus name and the CABC team lotus logo can be owned by different companies.You may own the the logo but not the team name.And if you only own the logo and not the registered name you cannot call yourself after the the logo name.If you own the name but not the logo you can use the name but not not the logo.There are four different “team lotus” names at companies house.Plus classic “team lotus” names.Added to which each company name is subject to any one or more of various classifications of activity.Class 41 is motor racing.Class 35 is marketing and so.All of this information is available from the UK Companies house website and in the case of logos the UK IPO office which are freely availble.After checking these sites and ordering and paying for documents I know exactly who owns what and which classes they own.

  44. Neither team are british, so neither should use the name, its just a marketing scam… I’m supporting any team not called lotus this year.

  45. In the end, TF will back off, I’m sure. If he gets enough money, either as settlement, or some ‘loan’ from Bernie, ‘to preserve the team’, he will stop. He can’t win this, there’s too much at stake for group: launching 5 new models and raceteams is such a big enterprise, with so much money, businesspartners and employment at stake, that the momentum is theirs.

    I don’t think it’s a deliberate ploy but indeed Bernie is probably very happy with all this free publicity. No racing, still lots of press. But in the end – my guess would be before march – he will step in and help them come to a solution. (if he’s not in a German prison, finding some other inmate’s dropped soap)

    Still, to me neither

    1. …is Lotus

  46. I was very excited when I heard Lotus name is coming back to F1. But now, especially after Fernandes’ “Team Lotus” stunt I can’t see myself supporting either of them.

    None of them is Team Lotus. Period. And I’d prefer for them both to stop using name Lotus, but that’s not gonna happen…

    1. So that makes you a fan of branding and not racing teams?

      You will indeed be sorely missed as a ‘supporter’.


  47. It’s pretty simple.

    Group Lotus wants to sell cars. They want to be in F1 as Lotus (and other series) in order to sell more cars. (witness Ferrari, Mercedes).

    Team Lotus wants to do F1, and calling themselves “Lotus” is a branding exercise to make this effort as commercially successful as possible. (One can imagine that if “Lotus” wasn’t available they could have purchased the rights to “Shadow” or “Eagle.”)

    I appreciate that Fernandes bought the rights to Team Lotus from Hunt. What I don’t understand is the repeated assertion that he bought “the history.” No one can buy the history of the Lotus F1 Team. The name is available, the history is . . . history.

  48. I’m relieved to see that I’m not the only person that noted massive bias in some of the main motor sports journals.

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