• Nov 7th 2010 at 9:32AM
  • 8
If you thought it was confusing for Red Bull to own two F1 teams, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Emerging reports from the F1 paddock seem to paving the way for not one, but two teams under the Lotus-Renault banner.

The development stems from Renault's anticipated plan to scale back its F1 participation from full-fledged manufacturer team to engine supplier, like it was years ago. Renault recently sold the bulk of its F1 operation to Genii Capital, and if the automaker were to further downscale its involvement, Genii would be in the market for a new partner. According to reports, that partner could be Lotus.

This is where it gets a little tricky. As you're aware, the Lotus name is already on the grid, controversially licensed to a Malaysian team, which recently confirmed a deal to use Renault engines (and gearboxes from Red Bull, which also uses Renault engines) for next season. But that operation is not the Lotus that could potentially take Renault's place as the automaker behind the front-running F1 team.

Word has it that Lotus Cars – the British automaker, not the Malaysian outfit – could step in to Renault's shoes with a factory-backed F1 team in the same mold as Ferrari's or Mercedes GP. Color us intrigued, but then we'd have not only two Lotus teams on the grid, but two Lotus-Renault teams. That's bound to get confusing, but with closed-door discussions over said naming rights reportedly underway, sources expect the Malaysian team will drop the Lotus moniker next season.

[Source: Autosport]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lotus is a loser team. Rather than buying another F1 team, they should consider finding a way out of that prestigious motorsport.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A motorsport that was made prestigious in part due to the involvement of Lotus Cars. Having Lotus Cars back in the mix would be exciting to see. Once they're involved, that current backmarker that is Lotus in name only, can do whatever they want. Although, it would be preferred if the name were changed (hopefully AB sources are correct).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lotus Cars, the UK specialist and engineering company owned by Proton, has been telegraphing this move for the past few months, first with the announcement of the T125 F1 inspired track car, and then with a press release hyping Lotus Cars' racing efforts, including an announcement of a factory GT2 program. So this isn't surprising.

      BTW, to further complicated the branding rights, Classic Team Lotus, controlled by the Chapman family, provides support and parts to vintage Lotus racers, including the Chapman era F1 cars. So in addition to the Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering companies owned by Proton, and Tony Fernandes' use of the Lotus name via David Hunt's acquisition of the team way back when, Classic Team Lotus has the legal right to use the name.

      I don't know if the Fernandes team has the right to the ACBC Lotus logo & badge, that Lotus Cars, the engineering consultancy, and Classic Team Lotus use in one form or another.

      None of this confusion is at all surprising either. Chapman created a number of ventures with the name Lotus to shelter his earnings from the tax man as much as possible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Prime opportunity for those US-F1 guys to get into it.

      Id hate to see Kubica without a drive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But doesn't Felipe have a contract for Feerari until the end of 2012? Unless they pull another Kimi and buy him out of his contract, which is kind of silly considering they just signed him.
        And in regards to this whole Lotus debacle, I just spent the last 10 months trying to associate a b-class team that had no connection with Lotus Cars to the Lotus name, and it was working. But now with Lotus themselves wanting in on the action, it's becoming clearer that Gascoyne's team only wanted the name to look better than they actually were. Not that they are terrible, but it all seems a little underhanded from my perspective.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Both Lotus Cars and Lotus Racing are Malaysian entities.

      Lotus Cars is owned by Proton (national car maker), and Proton is owned by the Malaysian government.

      Meanwhile, Lotus Racing is owned by Malaysian businessman, Tony Fernandes, who owns Air Asia.

      Somehow, some agreement must have gone sour between Tony and Proton (who is a sponsor Lotus Racing, btw) that causes the relationship to break down.

      What a mess they make of themselves.

      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Close but no cigar.

      Proton will be the title sponsor for Renault team, which will push the Lotus Group brand on the cars, which it owns.

      Lotus F1 of today will renamed.
    Share This Photo X