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The relationship between Lotus the automaker and Lotus the F1 racing team only seems to be getting more complicated. The name was licensed by Malaysian state automaker Proton to fellow Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes for use by his F1 team. Then Fernandes announced he didn't need Proton's permission and bought the name from a third party who claimed ownership. Proton and Lotus disputed the claim and canceled the licensing agreement, but Fernandes insisted he was within his rights. Both Lotus and Fernandes then launched their own GP2 feeder teams. Rumors then surfaced that Lotus the automaker was set to jump into F1 on its own by buying Renault's team, leaving us to wonder which team would race under the Lotus name and which would be forced to back down.

The signs seemed to point towards Fernandes losing the battle, but the latest word indicates otherwise. After racing their first season in classic Lotus green and yellow, the team has now announced it will be "returning" to the black and gold livery that Team Lotus used in its heyday under John Player Special sponsorship. Only now, of course, tobacco sponsorship is banned in F1.

Have the two Lotus outfits come up with this as a solution to differentiate one team from another? Or is Fernandes preparing to soldier on under the Lotus banner regardless of what the automaker says? We'll find out sooner or later, but as of now it appears the controversy has far from subsided.

[Source: Autosport]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Love the JPS cars, but I imagine the black and gold will still look good without the same logos.

      I wonder if there will be an F1 2011 video game successor to the brilliant F1 2010 which I am currently playing. At the start of the game career you choose to either race for Lotus, Virgin, or HRT so next year that would have to change I guess..
        • 4 Years Ago
        There will be...Codemasters has said they will be producing an F1 title every year until they lose the license, which I think is in 3-5 years...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This relationship between Lotus and F1 is strong on this way absolutely. No doubt about that . But it is very difficult to say and do for both of them...
      • 4 Years Ago
      JPS, was/is the great F1 livery IMO, but too soon. Don't muck up the legacy until you get some wins.
      • 4 Years Ago
      FINALLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYY FK!!! proton malasia...lotus was a shame this year

      JPS Team Lotus Renault its an ABSOLUTLY CLASIC !!! I REALLY CAN WAIT :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry. Same backmarker team, but with new colors. It's hard keeping track of Lotus F1 versus Lotus Cars, but Lotus F1 (Lotus in name only) are the ones dressing up in the JPS Black and Gold. It's not the same as Lotus Cars(the iconic engineering house and car manufacturer), who may be buying Renault.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Loved that black and gold! I know why they're banned, but I miss the days of cigarette livery on F1 cars. The JPS and the McLaren/Marlboro cars are still my all-time favorites.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I probably will have a stroke if these guys defame the JPS livery....
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm an old fart. I remember when Mario was driving for Lotus in the JPS livery car. Sigh. Those were the days.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great news. Now all we need is to bring back blue and white "Parmalat" sponsored Brabham's and fluorescent red and white "Marlboro" McLaren's. And while we're at it, how about a "Rothmans" sponsored Porsche for LeMans?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now they need to bring back Senna so they can actually be competitive
      • 4 Years Ago
      :D My favorite livery.
      • 4 Years Ago
      on the plus side, being slow makes them easier to see.

      +1 with Nostrathomas, Marlboro red & white (McLaren MP4/5), and JPS black and gold (Lotus 79) FTW!
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