Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Lotus Group invest in Renault for 2011 - The treasured F1 name gets a double presence on the grid

Published by Christine

It's been a rumour for a while now, and with so many Lotus headlines flying around it was only a matter of time before this one became reality. Lotus Group - the ones that don't involve Tony Fernandes and the 2010 outfit - have invested heavily in the Renault F1 team. They are to be title sponsors of the team which will be renamed Lotus Renault GP.

A black and gold and... red Lotus Renault GP
A black and gold and... red Lotus Renault GPCredit: Renault F1

Renault, the manufacturer, have gradually been decreasing their involvement in the sport, with Genii Capital taking over ahead of the season just gone. Now Genii have sold part of the team to Group Lotus, and the talk of the town is that they will run in the black and gold colours of old.

The problem with this is that is also the intention of Team Lotus. Tony Fernandes confirmed his intention to push for the name when the FIA entry list was released with Team Lotus as the constructor. Black and gold was the next step down the road to becoming Team Lotus again. Are we set to have two?

The battle between Team Lotus and Group Lotus has raged strong this year and caused much confusion in the paddock. CEO of Group Lotus, Danny Bahar issued his statement regarding the entire mess:

We're well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I'm delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.

- Danny Bahar

That is, I believe, what they call fighting talk. The title deal with Renault is for seven years, and the manufacturer will continue to supply engines.

I can't believe it would be acceptable for two teams to run the same colours, but then again Toro Rosso and Red Bull are not all that strikingly different. For the Lotus teams, it looks like the fight for the name is now over, but the fight for the colour scheme begins.