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’.
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.
Lotus naming rights row
- Lotus to keep name until 2017 despite losing title sponsorship
- Lotus confirms 2012 name change to Caterham
- Renault, Lotus and Virgin to change names in 2012
- Bahar ‘determined’ to win right to call team ‘Lotus’
- Court rules Lotus have right to use name “Team Lotus”
- Fernandes: Group Lotus did their best to destroy us
- Lotus vs Lotus: Time to stop the nonsense
- Team Lotus revert to green and yellow livery for 2011
- Renault reveal R30 with new 2011 Lotus livery
- Who are the real ‘Lotus’ in F1? (Poll)
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