Glancing down the F1 roster this year has lead to a little confusion for many. That's because there are two teams that lay claim to the Lotus name, and they're both powered by Renault. The French automaker and engine supplier is stuck in the middle of the naming-rights tug-of-war, but if you were hoping things might be clarified for next season, don't hold your breath. Because while the real Lotus continues its partnership with Renault over one team (the one in the black and gold in the middle of the pack), Renault has also renewed its partnership with the other Lotus (the one in the green and yellow near the back of the field).

The agreement between Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 will see the two collaborating (read: the former buying engines from the latter) for another couple of seasons until the end of 2013, and leaves the door open for further collaboration when the new engine regulations take effect. But the new deal also brings Red Bull into the fold, the championship team providing Team Lotus with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for the first time since it began racing a couple of years ago.

The inclusion of Red Bull's KERS in the engine package not only gives Team Lotus a chance at advancing up the grid from its current backmarker position to challenge the teams that already have it farther upfield. But it also further cements Red Bull's position as Renault's premier team in place of the other Lotus team that was once the French company's factory outfit.
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TEAM LOTUS AND RENAULT SPORT F1 CONFIRM EXTENSION OF AGREEMENT AND NEW KERS SUPPLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH RED BULL TECHNOLOGY

Singapore, 25th September 2011

Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 have confirmed that their existing engine deal is to be extended for a further year to the end of 2013 and the end of the V8 engine formula, with the aim to continue working together when the new engine regulations come into force. Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will also provide the Anglo-Malaysian squad with KERS systems for the first time for the duration of the agreement.

Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus Team Principal: "Having established an incredibly good working partnership since the first days of our agreement we are absolutely delighted that Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will be playing such an integral role in the ongoing development of our team until at least 2013, and then we are aiming to keep working together when the new rules are introduced. They are both passionate, dedicated teams of people with whom we have a growing relationship that is creating a number of exciting opportunities for us for the future. They share our vision for where we want to take our team, and we are very proud to have their power pushing us forward.

"Not only will we be able to build on everything we have learnt through working with Renault and Red Bull Technology in 2011, but we will now have the added benefit of KERS for next year, which really is a major step forward for our team. We have done the very best job we can this year but without that extra power we are always competing on a different level to the teams ahead, so to give our drivers that boost is a key element of helping us catch the cars ahead, and compete with them when we do so."

Jean-François Caubet, Managing Director of Renault Sport F1: "This year we have established solid foundations with Team Lotus and this latest agreement consolidates the relationship that we look forward to continuing for many seasons to come. Renault is in F1 to display the quality of its product, so we need to be associated with teams that clearly have potential. The steps Team Lotus has made on and off track with its technical structure and facilities have given us a confidence they will achieve their aims. KERS is now an essential part to a competitive performance in F1 today and we hope this supply will help the team continue its evolution. Furthermore a wider experience of using the KERS system at this point in time will help in the development of the powerful energy recovery systems that will be introduced under the future engine regulations."

Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull Racing: "We're very happy to extend the relationship between Red Bull Technology and Team Lotus, which already utilises our gearboxes, to include KERS for 2012 onwards. This endorses the joint venture between Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology, which will continue to develop in the coming months. Hopefully this will enable Team Lotus to build on the significant progress they have already made this season."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      ack154
      • 3 Years Ago
      Of all of the KERS systems they could pick... Red Bull would not have been my first choice considering the issues they had with it all through the beginning of the season. They may be doing better with it now, but damn.
        SuperSkyline89
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        That was exactly what I was wondering. They've had problems with KERS since the start of the season and even in the past few races Mark still doesn't seem to have his completely working.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        [blocked]
        flammablewater
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        Maybe it was cheap?
        schatman
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ack154
        The trouble with the Red Bull KERS has been suggested to be due to the packaging requirements of Adrian Newey. He refused to allow extra room for cooling of the system. In the Team Lotus car they probably won't have that issue, and it may work fine as a result. Plus, any KERS is better than none.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      wintersmith
      • 3 Years Ago
      The buzz is that Lotus (the Fernades/Air-Asia owned version) will be called Caterham next year as the owner of the team now owns the company.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Lustigson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny, 'the real Lotus', as you state, actually refers to the part of the Lotus history that has nothing to do with Formula One whatsoever. It is not so clear, though, which is which, in this row. Allow me to offer some insight.  'Group Lotus', the Malaysian-owned car manufacturer, is merely a sponsor of the Enstone, UK-based Grand Prix team that goes by the name of 'Renault' (and which runs in black and gold). So, that team is in fact not owned by Lotus, nor, ironically, is it owned by Renault.  The owner of 'Team Lotus' (green and yellow) is a Malaysian entrepreneur, Tony Fernandes, that last season used the 'Lotus Racing' moniker on a licence from 'Lotus Group'. However, the latter breached that agreement and Fernandes subsequently bought the rights to 'Team Lotus' from one David Hunt, who acquired those rights from the Grand Prix team that Lotus founder Colin Champman established in 1958 (or thereabouts). It is this team that renewed its engine supply deal with Renault Sport F1, which, incidentally, also supplies the team that bears their name, and which the French manufacturer owned until late 2009, as well as reigning World Champions Red Bull Racing, and from next season onwards, the Williams team.  One could then argue, then, that, with 'Team Lotus' using the 'proper' racing team banner, the Malaysian team is 'the real Lotus', while 'Group Lotus', a mere sponsor, is the opposing party.  Whatever the case, the issue may be resolved by Fernandes surrendering the Lotus name and rechristening his team 'Caterham', next season, whilst Renault formally adopt the Lotus moniker, with 'Group Lotus' probably taking equity in the team. This would join the Lotus car manufacturer with the Lotus racing team -- two entities that have never been one and were'nt meant to be one, when they were created. What a mess...