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. Lustigson (@lustigson) said on 6th April 2012, 12:01

    What a load of cr4p, this whole Lotus-versus-Lotus saga. All that effort and mudslinging to get the Lotus name, and now they terminate the deal. If they had only come to this conclusion 6 months earlier, we would now have had the Fernandes Lotus-Renault in green-yellow, and Lopez/GenII’s Enstone-Renault in whatever they would have liked.

  2. King Six (@kingsix) said on 6th April 2012, 12:02

    So Group Lotus first terminated the license for Lotus Racing. They then used Team Lotus. Group Lotus sued them for doing so whilst also joining Renault. Team Lotus won, but made a deal with Group Lotus anyway. So then Renault became Lotus and Team Lotus became Caterham.

    Now Group Lotus has terminated their deal with Lotus (ex-Renault), but Lotus are going to continue using the Lotus moniker/constructor name until 2017.

    That’s what I’ve gathered so far.

    The question is, what gives Lotus (ex-Renault) F1 team the right to use the Lotus name if the parent company has terminated the sponsorship deal?

  3. bpacman (@bpacman) said on 6th April 2012, 12:25

    Presumably this is all linked to events in Malaysia where the Government has sold its stake in Proton (the owner of Group Lotus) to DRB-Hicom? There were rumours the DRB-Hicom wanted to completely change the strategy that Danny Bahar had put in place – a strategy that would have seen the launch of lots of new road car models and a huge investment in motorsport.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 6th April 2012, 17:49

      Yes, it surely must be @bpacman, and it seems that Genii/Lopez is who actually wanted to end it, hence speculation he is still going after Group Lotus ownership, now with clean hands and w/o his team tied up in it.

      • Snow Donkey said on 6th April 2012, 22:55

        This is the most logical train of thought. Lopez clearly still has plans for the Brand.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th April 2012, 12:58

    The first thing I thought of when I read this was that Dany Bahar’s efforts in getting exposure for Lotus as many forms of motorsport as possible amounted to little more than another gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 6th April 2012, 13:44

    I feel like I’ve seen too much of the ugly side of F1 lately. On the other hand, this is just a logical conclusion to a nonsensical saga.

    • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 6th April 2012, 15:11

      this is far from the ugly side of f1. on a bad day, f1 has zero sporting legitimacy. i mean as crooked as a race horse working a carnival stand on his way to a boxing ring. this is due to 3rd party ownership and an old world way of doing things. i dare anyone to defend balestre.

      come race day, all is forgiven. especially when it rains.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

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

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

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

    What a sorry mess this whole Lotus affair is…

  15. 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.

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