Lotus to keep name until 2017 despite losing title sponsorship

2012 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2012Lotus say they will retain their current name for at least another five years, despite losing their title sponsorship from Group Lotus.

Lotus, which previously competed as Renault, agreed a title sponsorship deal with car manufacturer Group Lotus in 2010.

It took Tony Fernandes’s Team Lotus to court over the right to use the Lotus name last year, and lost.

The team later reached reached a settlement with Fernandes’ outfit which saw the latter rebrand as Caterham and Renault take over the Lotus name.

However the loss of its sponsorship deal with Group Lotus will not mean another change of identity in F1. A team spokesperson told F1 Fanatic it could continue doing so beyond 2017.

The team added there will be no immediate changes to the Lotus branding on its cars.

Genii owner Gerard Lopez told Autosport: “The sponsorship agreement and the obligations of Lotus have been terminated. There is no option from Group Lotus to buy into F1 now – that option was taken over by us. There was one, but we have taken it over now.”

2012 F1 season


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112 comments on Lotus to keep name until 2017 despite losing title sponsorship

  1. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 6th April 2012, 13:58

    I’d kind of anticipated that Bahar’s megalomaniac plans for Lotus would go awry someday, but this is waaaaay sooner than expected. There were already quite major problems with the Lotus engine supply for Indycar (lack of engines, lack of top-end power, reliability issues), but to pull out of F1 so soon after they had “won” (with a large pinch of salt) the “Group Lotus vs Team Lotus” battle is, both stunning and amusing. I had expected his crazy plans to unravel, but this soon and also the F1 team, the cream of their investments? A big surprise, really.

  2. Alex W said on 6th April 2012, 14:03

    Imagine if, when Kingfisher goes under, if Lotus (car company) buys Force India, and rename it Lotus…. my brain hurts…

    • Girts (@girts) said on 6th April 2012, 14:07

      I think that all F1 teams should actually be called Lotus. As Mr Lopez says, “it is a good name for F1.” To differentiate them, a number could be added to each name, based on last year’s results. Red Bull would become Lotus 1, Mercedes would turn into Lotus 4 and so on.

  3. Lamalas (@lamalas) said on 6th April 2012, 14:57

    This is very confusing. Why bother keeping the name without the money? They were let down by Lotus group and they are rewarding them for it by giving free sponsership!

    This seems like a good opportunity for another big brand like Porche, Audi, Aston Martin, Nissan etc to get info F1. It wouldn’t be to expensive to get the sponsership and considering this team can possibly win races!

    It would be a bit the opposite of Toyota fruitlessly spending billions over the years without a single victory.

    Also, first my first comment here.

  4. aizat63 said on 6th April 2012, 15:14

    Group Lotus owner Proton has been making losses all this while, the new owner of Proton DRB-Hicom has come in and decided of cost cutting. The obvious target was Lotus, with its involvement in F1. They want to make Proton a quick profit with launched such as the Preve. Its kind of funny to see the Proton Chairman with the Lotus Drivers in a press conference prior to the Malaysian Gp and 3 weeks later the pullout of the team.

  5. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 6th April 2012, 15:29

    All this bickering coming to nothing. What a pathetic episode.

  6. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 6th April 2012, 16:27

    I didn’t read all the comments but I take it I’m far from the only one who actually thought that Lotus (aka Proton) had bought the former Renault team (or atleast a majority share of it)???

    So basically now Renault is just gonna provide 5 years free advertising to a competing car company, right?

    And I’m just gonna say I don’t know how the rest of Malaysian companies do business but this Proton company that owns the Lotus brand is the shadiest company I’ve ever heard of.

    • Proesterchen (@proesterchen) said on 6th April 2012, 16:35

      Renault isn’t involved with the team at all, and hasn’t been since 2010.

      The new arrangement is very similar to the situation of 1Malaysia in 2010, a team with a licensed name (the same name, in fact), and a funny/useless/fake-retro colour scheme.

      The sad thing is, though, that this team actually has a successful history to be proud of, and doesn’t need to buy itself someone else’s old, shabby identity.

  7. Legomanshair said on 6th April 2012, 16:37

    What a fiasco first 2 teams called lotus, then suing each other now lotus pulls out and a bank is calling its cars lotus for free…

  8. jonathan102 (@jonathan102) said on 6th April 2012, 16:44

    Does this mean Lotus now has absolutely nothing to do with Lotus?

  9. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 6th April 2012, 16:47

    What a sorry mess this whole Lotus affair is…

  10. deanmachine (@deanmachine) said on 6th April 2012, 16:54

    Yeah, this maybe bad for the F1 team, but I’m more concerned about my favourite sports car manufacturer. They’re sponsoring just about every motorsport team in europe, as well as failing at being an IndyCar Engine manufacturer.

    They’re so way in over their heads, I think this is the beginning of the end of the little green and yellow Garagistes.

  11. Lex said on 6th April 2012, 16:54

    they r gonna win a few races this year and finish in the top 3 constructors and get madddddd money from sponsors and will be extremely competitive like in 05 and 06

  12. Indy said on 6th April 2012, 17:49

    That name is jinxed man.

  13. Alonso (@alonsomanso) said on 6th April 2012, 17:53

    so the question is who will have the Lotus name?

  14. brt113 (@brt113) said on 6th April 2012, 20:14

    well i think good for lotus and the public. with none of this name switching malarke i think people can follow season to season without having to remember lotus was renult and chaterum was lotus…

  15. OOliver said on 6th April 2012, 22:03

    This is what happens when you gamble with other peoples money.
    Wasting money chasing shadows instead of building proper cars.
    Sometimes all that is needed to run a company, is common sense and not an MBA.

    These guys think this fiasco will endear such a brand to their market.
    What next, another plant in China claiming to be the true manufacturing arm of Lotus?

  16. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 6th April 2012, 23:48

    I doubt this is going to be too big of a negative for Lotus/Renault F1, Genii/Lopez will put up the money necessary to stay competitive. I also don’t think Genii/Lopez are dumb enough to sit on the team and not look for a new title sponsor. I think they simply want to retain the name until they can find a new title sponsor.

  17. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 6th April 2012, 23:54

    Eurgh!! I think i’m just gonna stick with calling them ‘Renault’.

  18. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th April 2012, 0:02

    I don’t think the situation is nearly as bad as some people are making out. Gerard Lopez has frequently been named in conjunction with the purchase of Lotus Cars, and if he is going to make a bid, then severing all ties with the company first is the smart way of doing things because it means no-one can call out “conflict of interests!” when it happens. The problem is that this only works if the exchange is transparent, which means the team has to announce it, thereby creating a confusing situation like this.

  19. Kenny (@kenny) said on 7th April 2012, 5:48

    @prisoner-monkeys: The only say Bernie has in the matter is through the single vote of the commercial rights holder’s representative on the Formula One Commission.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th April 2012, 5:55

      @kenny – Do you honeslty think that’s the limit of Bernie’s power?

      He doesn’t mind it when teams change their livery because there has been a change in ownership. And he doesn’t mind it when they make minor changes like the Renault Mild Seven/Team Spirit designs. But if a team tries to make regular, lasting changes to their livery design, he will have something to say about it. Especially considering the complications surrounding the Lotus vs. Lotus situation last year.

      Besides, this is neither here nor there. My post was in response to @proesterchen saying he couldn’t wait for the team to change their livery. Well, they’re not going to change it. They’re happy competing as Lotus for now, and so there is no need for them to change their design. In fact, their design is what makes them noticeable, since they’re the only black cars on the grid. Why change something that works just for the sake of it?

      • Kenny (@kenny) said on 7th April 2012, 6:54

        Yes. All he can do is tell his man on the commission how to vote. Although Bernie had a lot to say about BAR’s dual livery, it was all grandstanding…the livery was blocked because it was against the rules. He also had a lot to say about BAR’s “zipper” livery and was ignored.

        Speculation about what BE may or may not mind in regard to liveries is pointless. He has no say in the matter.

  20. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 7th April 2012, 9:50

    Tony Fernandes’ Lotus were called Team Lotus, but then Lotus sponsored Renault so Lotus became Caters, Renault sponsored by Lotus became Lotus, now Lotus isn’t sponsoring Lotus but they are still called Lotus. Got it…just about. I think

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