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. 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

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

    That name is jinxed man.

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

    so the question is who will have the Lotus name?

  4. 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…

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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’.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Force Maikel said on 7th April 2012, 10:05

    If it wasn’t complicated enough already!

  12. gorgonzola said on 7th April 2012, 10:40

    For Crying out loud…will my team get a damn break.

    So sick of this… Come on Renault start designing some gem cars, get more profits buy off this rubbish… you sold the team to a bunch of hideous corporate backstabbing children…. Bring back Flavio, Symmonds and co and lets win this….

    Will Enstone get a break? Call it Benetton, call it Enstone F1 anything this farce should be shut…

    • Sam B (@sb360) said on 7th April 2012, 11:50

      Ahh yes Flavio, the pinnacle of integrity and honesty, I can’t honestly see that any of this makes that much difference, the most likely outcome would seem to be a new title sponsor will come on board and the team will be rebranded again, but until that time the team need to call themselves something so will stick to Lotus for now. I for one would love to see a new name on the grid (Aston Martin would be particularly lovely) and can’t see any potential livery swap being an issue.

      • gorgonzola said on 7th April 2012, 12:52

        Ay yes you mean the honesty of the likes of Ron Dendis and the Ferrari Gate so please….yawwwwn….

        • Sam B (@sb360) said on 7th April 2012, 13:36

          I never said that Flavio is any better or worse than anyone else, the other teams are far from saints either, But you can’t deny that he has a somewhat tarnished reputation.

          • gorgonzola said on 9th April 2012, 14:48

            I agree to a point…there is a famous saying in F1 they ALL cheat …just don’t get caught…

  13. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 7th April 2012, 12:38

    I shall now be calling them “Lotus”.

    That is all.

  14. Jim said on 7th April 2012, 13:55

    They really are intent on repeating the history of Lotus aren’t they.
    1986 – Lotus Cars owned by a mass-market car manufacture – General Motors
    2012 – Lotus Cars owned by a mass-market car manufacture – Proton

    1986 Lotus F1 race in Black and Gold. Have separate ownership to the ‘road-car’ Lotus. Have Renault engines. Changed title sponsor for the following season (JPS to Camel)
    2012 Lotus F1 race in Black and Gold. Have separate ownership to the ‘road-car’ Lotus. Have Renault engines. Need new title sponsor for following seasons

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