Renault R30 in 2011 Lotus livery

High court will hear Lotus case after season starts

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Force India driver line-up looks set to be announced on Wedneday but the Lotus saga just drags on. Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Lotus Name Trial Set For After Bahrain GP (Speed)

“The battle for over the use of the Lotus name in F1 is now set to go to trial in London?s High Court on March 21.”

Tony Fernandes on Twitter

“Very very happy over the judgement today. And extremely happy that full trial brought forward to march 21st. The good do always eventually win”

Via the Live F1 Twitter app

Force India set to give Scot Paul di Resta a race drive (BBC)

Force India say they will announce their drivers at a news conference on Wednesday at the Glasgow headquarters of one of their sponsors.”

Mike Gascoyne via Twitter

“Chassis 1 car build started yesterday, hoping to fire engine up tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning. Lots to do but exciting times.”

Two picture of parts of the new Lotus were also posted on Twitter. Find them here and here.

Via the Live F1 Twitter app

Indian F1 organiser Hughes quits (The Gulf Today)

“Mark Hughes, a former number two at the Bahrain circuit, in charge of building the Indian facility for the past 12 months, quit last month ‘due to personal reasons’, the promoters said.”

Senna (Variety)

“Within the expertly edited archival construct, Kapadia maintains a respectful but less-than-adulatory view of Senna himself, and a caustic assessment of Formula One and its then-president Jean-Marie Balestre.”

Speculation in Finland (Joe Saward)

“Finland?s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper, one of the biggest in the country, is reporting that the police investigation into the accident that resulted in the death of a friend of former F1 driver JJ Lehto has concluded that Lehto was at the controls of the boat when it hit a bridge last summer, while travelling at high speed in a narrow canal.”

Walker vows to cut race costs (The Age)

“Mr Walker said it was ‘business as usual’ after meeting Premier Ted Baillieu yesterday to discuss the race, a day after lord mayor Robert Doyle called for Melbourne to cut its losses and ditch the event when the contract expires in 2015.”

Thanks to Andrew G for the tip

Fauzy signs for Super Nova (Super Nova)

Renault test driver Fairuz Fauzy will race in GP2 and GP2 Asia for Super Nova.

Formula 1 OnBoard Special 2010 (YouTube)

Not a new video but one I hadn’t seen before – some very nice high-definition F1 car footage:

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

US_Peter spies a makeover for Nico Rosberg:

Looks like he?s trying his best to shed the Britney image.

From the forum

Joey-Poey’s talking about the cars, not snobbery: Why are F1 noses raised?

Site updates

As you will no doubt have noticed the site had some downtime yesterday. This was due to technical problems arising from Sunday’s server move. Unfortunately hiccups like this are hard to avoid but as ever Ed Marshall has done a tremendous job reacting to the problems and sorting them out.

If you are having trouble viewing the site please let me know by emailling me, using Twitter or leaving a comment below.

Mobile users will have noticed that the mobile site is not currently available. It will be revived soon along with a switch will will allow users to toggle between the mobile and regular versions as they choose.

Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions heads into round three tomorrow. There’s still time to vote in some parts of round two though – click the link below to see them all:

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The 1976 season got started at Interlagos in Brazil – on the old, 7.96km (4.946 mile) circuit.

James Hunt started the race from pole position but Niki Lauda claimed the victory for Ferrari. The pair battled for the championship until the last race of the season.

See below for a video from the race.

65 comments on “High court will hear Lotus case after season starts”

  1. Force India say they will announce their drivers at a news conference on Wednesday at the Glasgow headquarters of one of their sponsors.

    So that must be one of Liuzzi’s personal sponsors right? ;-)

    1. Only a complete F1 geek would be interested in what a midfeild team are going to do to shed a journeyman driver it’s turned out isn’t it with a tricky contract.

      So, any info’d be much appreciated.

      ta ;)

      1. Last week me and TommyB were discussing David Coulthard’s performance in the 1999 Japanese GP on Twitter. Now that is geeky!

    2. I’d b speechless if FI don’t choose Paul di Resta now!!

    3. White & Mackay (one of Vijay’s companies) is based in Glasgow, but I would tend to concur that this news hints strongly at Paul di Resta getting to step up.

  2. “The battle for over the use of the Lotus name in F1 is now set to go to trial in London’s High Court on March 21.”
    Well, at least it will be settled sooner rather than later.

    “Very very happy over the judgement today. And extremely happy that full trial brought forward to march 21st. The good do always eventually win”

    I’m really not liking Fernandes right now. He comes across as smug, arrogant and totally defensive. He’s also completely oblivious to the fact that the verdict is very bad for him. He’s got less time to prepare for it, whereas Group Lotus are already primed and ready.

    I sincerely hope that Fernandes and Team Lotus go down in flames.

    1. Fernandes meh, he’s a money-bags that breifly put his head above the water before sucumbing to hubris and his own PR, before reverting to just another money-bags with an ego.

      Group are probably a worse bunch but somehow less annoying now, at least they arn’t trying to be my friend.

      Regardless, I hope his team does fantastic, no new team making a success of themselves gets any bad wishes from me.

      1. …no new team making a success of themselves gets any bad wishes from me.

        That’s basically how I feel. I hope both Lotus and Virgin improve by a large margin this year, which they both stand to as Lotus was hampered by their super late entry in ’09, and Virgin was hampered by having to go back and design a new chassis after they discovered the fuel tank was too small. HRT on the other hand will be lucky if they can make the 107% in Q1, with ALL other teams potentially improving, and them virtually standing still (which is the equivalent of moving backwards in F1).

        1. We Want Turbos
          25th January 2011, 8:47

          The only thing is with a ban on DDD and F ducts etc may offset alot of the improvements made by the front runners! Might just sneak in! My 1st bet of the new season is that a Lotus or Virgin outqualifies a Torro Rosso @ Bahrain on merit

          1. It’s very unlikely. The big teams have known these change have been coming for some time, and will have made plans accordingly.

    2. I have to agree, his recent activity on Twitter is a bit off-putting. That said I still support him over Dany Bahar. I wonder if Fernandes has considered the potential backlash in the form of a defamation lawsuit based on his very specific comments on Twitter… anyone know how that works in the UK?

    3. I sincerely hope that Fernandes and Team Lotus go down in flames.

      Initially I was annoyed at Group and supported Team, now I wish Fernandes would change to “1Malaysia” or just go away.

    4. A Team Lotus thread on the interent isn’t really a Team Lotus thread till we’ve had our regular contribution from Mr Monkeys, is it?

      What’s that you say, sick of this, what’s that, you don’t much care for Mr Fernandes.

      Yeah, y’know what, I think we get it. Comprehensively, we really get it.

      Now, if you ever decide to quit rehearsing the exact same Group Lotus talking point you’ve bangin’ into the ground for the last coupla months … and recklessly choose to inject some novelty, humour or originality into the discourse, give us all a proper warning will you – not sure my heart could take the surprise.

    5. Since he came into F1, at least, Fernandes has always made the mistake of believing his own hype. It is what will do for him in the end.

  3. The good do always eventually win
    Tony Fernandes

    Lol it’s officially gone to his head.

    Thank goodness Di Resta’s finally got the drive, been deserving that for seasons, showed greater potential than several of his peers in the lower ranks who are now F1 drivers, including Sebastian Vettle, hope he blows them away. I’ll be following him with interest

    Also pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese don’t let them cancell Auz, FIX IT FOR US KEITH WE BEG YOU.

    1. Since when have the good always won?? Is there even a saying which says anything along those lines?! Usually it’s the complete opposite: eg ‘Nice guys finish last’, ‘the good always die young’ etc

      Sounds to me like Mr Fernandes is blowing his own trumpet. The longer this has dragged on the more I have begin to side with Group Lotus (even though I don’t much like Bahar)

      1. I’m not really ever going to side with Group Lotus, I still think there a fairly disgusting bunch, Proton have handled Group pretty badly and Bahar may well kill it if his extrordinarily reckless gamble with his company’s money. Let alone the funds provided by a state ignoring it’s fairly deprived and needy populace. To hell with that, there a dodgy sponser nothing more in my eyes.

        Still Fernandes had my support and lost it, by being a bit of an [expeitive deleted] so i’ll just root for the drivers, mechs etc, listen to this (a bit differnt to usual) and wait for the new cars to land. A group of people fighting over heritage that isn’t theirs, labouring under the delusion that they can buy it on the route to some ridiculous pay day, are good fun, but not really that relavant till they start breaking things.

        1. Lotus-car-lover
          25th January 2011, 4:33

          For me, Lotus makes great handling cars that I enjoy to drive and I will cheer for the manufacturer team.

          I will also cheer for the Fernandes’ team not because it has the word Lotus but the fact that they are a small team like Minardi, just like Virgin or HRT.

          I just don’t get why they should hang on to the name Lotus? They don’t make the cars we drive – just let it go.

          1. Lotus makes great handling cars that I enjoy to drive and I will cheer for the manufacturer team.

            Just remember Bahar is completely changing the Lotus line up, And their new cars are more like Aston Martins. Only not quite as cool.

          2. And do you like the road Lotus Cars is taking with its newest cars? I get the feeling they are parting with just that aspect of the Lotus cars (getting heavy and bulky instead of agile cars).

          3. Danny Bahar lost my support when he said (and I’m paraphrasing here cos I can’t remember his exact words) that they had made the new Elise heavier “because they could”…

            They’ve ruined the Elise and I read yesterday are using $400million in LOANS to finance the DB’s over-ambitious plans to turn the small niche sports car manufacturer into a Ferrari beating super-car company (which also means beating the likes of Porsche, Lambourghini, Aston Martin et al…) as opposed to sticking to what they do best…

            …afterall there’s a reason niche companies usually do well.

            NB: Though if he manages to sing a deal that sees James Bond driving a Lotus in the the new film then I’ll give him some credit…still won’t be supporting Renault in F1 though.

      2. The longer this has dragged on the more I have begin to side with Group Lotus

        I don’t get that at all.

        I know judging right and wrong is a tricky business, but I’ve never before heard of anyone using a calendar to try and settle it. Curious new branch of temporal-based ethics.

        If Team Lotus trademarks and naming rights were good on day 1, I don’t see how they materially deteriorate in relation to the hidden mysteries of court scheduling.

        Not having a pop, just confused.
        Look, I get some people are for Team, and some are for Group, and some(most) are disinterested, but to move from one to the other based on how many sleeps you’ve had, well, y’know, just seems weird.

        I am not even sure how Fernandes specifically get’s the blame for things taking the time they take, and not anyone else.
        What would hs options be to speed it up, his only two choices are roll-over, or fight it out; if fighting it out takes time, how can that be his fault?

        1. I think it is more to do with Fernandes, and others from Team Lotus, ongoing twitter posts etc. to justify themselves.

          Since the Group Lotus/Renault team hasn’t done the same for a week, we now get annoyed by the other side crowing their value and right instead of waiting what the judge says, or just settling it between them.

          As others have said too, (Team) Lotus looks like a likeable enough outfit as a newcomer team, and Renault seem like a team returning to their winning ways.

          I would like to support them both as separate teams in F1, but with this stupid name clash, it is annoyingly hard to just mention one without the other butting in, making me wish they would all just shut up and go racing/testing.

          Since we haven’t heard of him yet, I guess Kubica is feeling much the same way, and he is getting his pay from one of them!

  4. Very nice onboard footage. Can’t wait for f1 in hd this year. Hope they use some of those cameras especially the one just under the rear wing. That would be awesome in the dark at Singapore and Abu dhabi watching the exhaust spitting flames

    1. …and seeing the reflections of the lights in the high gloss curves of the bodywork.

      1. But sadly, some of those camera positions seem unlikely to feature in an actual race – I liked the view from the Williams tail light and looking back into the cockpit, but those positions are rather aero influencing.

    2. I have just upgraded our sky package to HD almost purely for the BBC F1 coverage (and Sky Atlantic HD too).

      I have decided I am going to avoid any of the youtube HD footage until Saturday in Bahrain (unless BBC decide to show any of Friday practice on either HD channel), to increase the probability of being blown away…

  5. Regarding the site updates… I’ve noticed considerably faster page loads, and so far [knock on wood] no issues with any pages on the forum. Thanks for the upgrade Keith!

  6. For those who have a computer capable of streaming it, turn the settings on that onboards video up to 1080p and go fullscreen, only then can you appreciate how beautiful the footage is

    1. Rather amazing footage in HD…This season will definitely be one to watch. Let’ hope some of these onboards will be adopted into the telecast

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      25th January 2011, 2:05

      what I want to now is why if they have had the technology since 206 (assuming the info in the video is correct) are we only just seeing it now??

      1. Because Bernie didn’t want the broadcasting technology to be used until it absolutely had to be (seeing as he doesn’t get as much control as he did over the earlier digital effort). Despite the hype of a 1.3% increase in total viewership, there was a drop of 8.76% per race between 2009 and 2010. So now Bernie must have realised FOM has to go HD or else…

      2. its not as simple as that, these are full blown video cameras being attached to the cars and badly affect aero and weight distribution. this footage was obviously taken at private test sessions.

    3. I always forget that you can do that on Youtube now, thanks for the tip. Just watched it a few times in 1080p on my 40″ TV, and it looked stunning. I have a standard definition receiver from my satellite provider, and watching that just reiterates that I absolutely have to upgrade to HD in time for Bahrain. Can’t wait.

      1. I already enjoyed watching it on my 19″ LCD screen – I really hope that by the start of the season I have a HD channel showing F1!

  7. I thought this was a more interesting story from Mr Saward today:

    In this instance with his article, don’t shoot the messenger.

  8. The Lotus debate is now, no thanks to Fernandes, becoming a bit like that breed of online bitching that goes on between hormonal secondary school girls on facebook or something. I still support him over Bahar but seriously, he isn’t doing himself any favours at the minute.

    1. David A likes Electrolite’s status.

  9. Love that high res footage. Almost looks too real, like it’s a computer game or something.

    1. LOL, I had the same feeling. But maybe that is just the style of it.

    2. What an age we live in, if real footage looks less “real” than CGI!

  10. Two things i’m really tired of hearing/reading, Lotus nonsense & Force India driver confirmation!! What a drag…

    1. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of other news right now…

  11. Looks like he’s trying his best to shed the Britney image.

    By assuming the Leonardo Di Caprio look? Shudder :p

    1. What is it with ex-Williams drivers trying to grow beards? It didn’t do Heidfeld any favours, and now it doesn’t do anything for Rosberg.

      Oh, and Mike-e, Nico is following di Caprio all the way. First with longish hair and a clean shaven face (a la Titanic), and now the beard!

  12. People really have turned against Fernandes, I don’t entirely understand why either…

    It doesn’t appear that you guys actually like Bahar, although I’ll criticise the ones who are saying they support whoever does better…

    I just still see Fernandes as the innocent party. No, now that the war is on all his “good guy” crap isn’t anything better than PR crap to get people onside. But he started his own team from scratch for gods sake! What shows more commitment than that? I mean come on, Don’t we want to rally behind a guy who actually brings a NEW TEAM into the sport? This is the answer to 3 Ferrari’s and soulless Manufacturer teams.

    1. I agree Mike.

      A lot of respect to Gascoyne/Fernandez, Booth/Wirth/Branson and some respect for not giving up for Carabante, Kolles, Wills and their driver caroussel as well.

      Setting up a new team, with mostly new people, with budget caps not being implemented and surviving (sort of) and making it to the grid in the second year (I hope all of them do), kudos for doing that.

      1. I don’t understand where all the hate for Fernandes is coming from either! All he has done is change the name of his team – and the whole world turned against him, to the extent where other teams did the same in an attempt to stop him. I wish Renault would just be Renault! If they really want to have Lotus sponsorship, then let them have it, but they don’t need to run the old livery. They were on a winner with their 2010 livery – this just seems like a petty attempt to shut Fernandes’ operation down. Go Team Lotus!

        1. For me it’s not hate for Fernandes, it’s exasperation. A lot of people criticised his team using the Lotus name last year because they have no connection to the “real” Lotus. What they did have, possibly the only claim to the name they had, was the blessing of the Chapman family. Now that’s gone, the argument has descended into a legal one. Which is messy, unnecessary and excruciatingly boring.

          Plus, as I said above, Fernandes is guilty of believing his own hype. A lot of people were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt last year, with his “we will be scoring points soon” and his “break glass in case of victory,” but if the results don’t start matching up to the overinflated expectations pretty soon, a lot more people are going to get fed up.

          1. They have the support of Hunt. Who owned the team from the end 1994 until Tony bought it from him.

            the results

            And how are they relevant to who deserves the name Lotus?

          2. And how are they relevant to who deserves the name Lotus?

            They’re not. But the lack of them does explain why some people are losing patience with the 1Malaysia PR machine.

      2. i think people still respect new teams, but the lotus naming issue got a bit out of hand, people mostly changed their minds after learning what Chapman family think & who they support. Also some former Team Lotus drivers have now put their support behind Group Lotus. And i’m pretty sure once Tony understand that he is getting negative PR for Lotus dispute he will change the name of his team… but he will continue to milk this issue as long as it yields his team sympathy and support. He is holding to the name issue cause it yields him profit for now.

        1. The Last Pope
          25th January 2011, 16:32

          Nigel Mansell and Judas Chapman took bribes from Bahar in return for their support.

    1. They will pull into a pit lane along Beach Road in Green Point for split-second repairs and adjustments to their cars

      what sort of journalist writes this on a motoring website?

      And seeing that squiggle inside the stadium, god help me. 3 corners like that compressed that tightly? Mickey Mouse has a new meaning.

      1. Haha, I wondered that too. I think the stadium section would be pretty cool though, it would be pretty unique at least

      2. I was wondering, when they write of having the start in that stadium … This will be something like a rallye start, won’t it?

  13. Bahar and the Lotus Group are trying to take a short cut and at the same time reneging on an agreement they had originally with Team Lotus.

    Mercedes tried the same thing last year by buying Brawn, hoping to take the easy route to a world championship, but that failed. Unlike Group Lotus though, Mercedes still kept all their contractual agreements with the team they left.

  14. I had a lot of respect for Di Resta last year and championed him to anyone that would listen but after his interview with the BBC where he told everyone he was a better driver than Vettel after beating him so many times and not remembering Vettel beating him and also saying he wouldn’t look at Lewis Hamilton as a role model (despite winning the WDC in his second season and being in contention every season since his debut) because he was a faster driver than him I now want him to get beaten comprehensively.

    1. Does anyone have a link to this interview? It seems to be quite at odds with his reputation as far as I have heard.

  15. Looks like HRT might be getting their car out early! According to their star driver, they will actually take part in the last test with their new car (and use an interim thing for the european tests).

    That may actually mean they already shipped the equipment to Bahrain, where the test will be and do not have a 3rd chassis for testing left.

  16. Anyone else sick of Fernandes and his tweets, i mean, just shut up man, the case hasn’t even gotten to trial yet, the world doesn’t need a running commentary, especially such a droll one.

    1. I’m not. If you don’t like them, don’t look at them.

      In any case, Fernandes isn’t probably the most eloquent guy out there, but he speaks his mind. And let’s face it, it’s hard not to feel done by after everything that’s happened to him over the last few months.

      And even if you look at what he’s saying as bad, I don’t see how that’s worse than everything Mr Bahar has done prior to that?

    2. yee, me too, even though part of the F1 espectacle is politics and economics, this is just ridiculous.

      And there are no victims here (Fernandes in this case), cos those people are the ones who win after all.

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