Group Lotus will no longer sponsor Lotus F1, according to Autosport.com. The manufacturer pulled its endorsement shortly after parent company Proton announced the sale of Group Lotus to DRB-Hicom. Additionally, Proton won't purchase 50 percent of the race team as previously agreed.

The good news, however, is that Lotus F1 will continue to compete. Team owner Genii Captial has said it believes in the name, and that while it would prefer to not have to fund the team completely by itself, it is prepared to do so. The team has already signed Unilever and Microsoft as sponsors, though there's still room for a title sponsor to step through the door.

If that happens, Lotus F1 will have more cash flow than the team has ever had in the past.

As Autosport.com points out, Gerard Lopez, Genii Capital owner, had previously expressed interest in owning Lotus. Now that the company has a new owner, that seems to be more feasible. Even so, Lopez says he's not certain what the new owners intend to do with the brand.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      bugvey41
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why doesn't AOL sponsor them?
      ijardine
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is nothing, IMHO, to do with "Group Lotus" as they are not their own masters as their build out of road cars etc needs cash investment. Something promised by prior owner Proton and now the new owners of GL have yet to announce their own plans for this car manufacturer. Presumably contracts with the F1 team carried a clause voiding expenditure plans on the F1 venture if GL was sold. This is probably a "way out" by the Malaysia Gvt which is obviuosly heavilly involved in decsision making here. In reality the prior direct involvement in the F1 team was a very expensive markting expenditurre for such a small company (GL). It probably makes much more brand/marketing sense for GL to push provide some spnsorship in sportscar racing and also Indycar (far less expensive than F1). This would get suitable them branding in major markets and then they could license the Lotus name to Genii for a small sum which would benefit both entities i.e.e opens the door for Genii to get another major sponsor. Re Tony Fernandez. It took a while for business sense to overcome "ego" here in the Lotus name battle (sori Tony but you made the right final call). Now he pushes the name Caterham (sports car manufacturer he recently purchased) into a world brand. That's great business sense and I applaud his decision. For the fans it's great top see 2 niche sportscar names being branded onto 2 F1 teams. Surely there is a lesson here for Williams to use their branding in a niche road car sector after all McLaren saw the sense in this. It's back to the future as this is how F1 basically started....
      moe6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Proton was sold to DRB-Hicom along with Group Lotus (Which proton owned). I have no idea how the story got twisted this way in so many int'l blogs. They were previously owned by the government through Khazanah. Re: Lotus/Caterham, it was not clear when/if the gov't was selling Proton, and who the owners would be so it couldn't be planned for. The present deal sees VW renewing their interest on Proton's Tanjung Malim plant, VW had previously attempted to buy into Proton before being sabotaged by politicians needing votes years ago (leading to a 3 month lock out which severely damaged things). VW is partnered with DRB-Hicom locally for CKD manufacturing, and Proton has always had a modern /and/ under-utilised plant capable of building even high end VW's (this is probably seen as important as Mercedes builds the S500 blue here as well) Proton actually has a few development Satria Neo's running the VW 1.8TFSI engine from way back in 2005-2006, the engine cradle having been extensively changed from the Mitsubishi style that was normal for Proton just to keep engine options open. The new Preve also shares this design.
      GVIrish
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's stupid about all of this is that Group Lotus took little ol' Team Lotus to court and eventually forced them to change their name to Caterham. For what? They didn't even stay in the sport for one year after getting Team Lotus to change their name. What a waste. Hopefully Group Lotus' new owners will at least give them the capital they need to finish the new Espirit, Elan, and Exige, even if they aren't supporting F1.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow Group Lotus is really smart and possibly really dumb. At first look it seems that they get a competitive Formula One team to advertise for them free, a $25 Million dollar value. But think about it. The reason Team Lotus wants to keep the name is that it has brand equity. The Lotus brand means a lot to fans worldwide who will buy T-shirts and hats to support the team. By allowing Team Lotus to use the brand for free, Group Lotus loses some control of this valuable brand and thereby risks devaluing it. This should really be a lesson to Group Lotus. YOU ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE RACING TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR OWN BRAND AND SELL CARS! Hello, anyone home?
        Autoblogist
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GasMan
        I totally agree and this is the best year they are having since Lotus got back into racing.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm guessing the owners are cheapskate or they don't understand the potential Team Lotus has this year. If Grosjean would stop crashing out, they'd be in the top 3 teams for sure. Once Kimi's steering is adjusted to his specification, he'll be a force to watch. They've already got good qualifying pace and their race pace seems to be good and can only get better.
      Temple
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lotus gets free advertising as the team's name is already using the "Lotus" name. "So why sponsor them" must be Genii's logic.
      MiralDesai
      • 2 Years Ago
      You've got this completely mixed up. Proton owns Group Lotus, they were both bought by DRB-Hicom. How did you mix it up when Autosport said exactly this. They then cancelled the sponsorship, or someone did anyway. What I don't understand is how Lotus F1 is allowed to keep it's name. I'm guessing it's because they agreed to the deal for a number of years so until then they are allowed to keep it.