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”

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  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.

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