Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

The FIA Commission and the chassis changes // Naming conventions get an official ruling from the governing body

Published by Christine

With the FIA Commission's meeting in Geneva this week, it appears that at least one of the big rivalry/wars in Formula One is over. The Lotus versus Lotus battle will be coming to an end. After spending the entire year locking horns, with both sides adamant that they deserve the name, it was something of an anti-climax. The real decisions were made back in May when the two parties met in court to decide who owned the Lotus moniker.

Wing, lose or draw?
Wing, lose or draw?Credit: Renault F1

Now, we are well on the way to discovering what the teams will be called next year, something that has been a not-very-well-kept secret for a few months.

Renault no more

Personally, I think it's quite sad that Renault are taking more and more of a back seat in F1. They were the cars that were winning when I was really getting into F1, they were part of the two Fernando Alonso championships, and seeing them first turn black and gold and then fully embrace Lotus is a real shame. The FIA Commission have reportedly approved the chassis name change from Renault to Lotus, meaning that if Renault do get a namecheck, it'll likely be as engine supplier only, and little else.

Where that leaves us in the Vitaly Petrov dilemma, I'm not entirely sure. I pondered the subject last month and concluded that it really depends on who owns the team. Are we any clearer on this? Right now we can only conclude that it's definitely not Renault. Oh well.

Catering company

Meanwhile, the other Lotus team, or Team Lotus as they have been known, have had their Caterham chassis branding approved. After buying out Caterham Cars at the end of April, it seemed clear that the direction of the team was moving away from Lotus and towards Air Asia and Caterham marques instead. However, that didn't stop Tony Fernandes digging his heels in and arguing until the very end.

I can't see that this decision will change the team too much, the cars are likely to remain the same colour, and we know that Tony loves his drivers. In fact, he tweeted this just yesterday:

Just up in geneva. Heikki cooking breakfast. I feel so well rested. His house is damm cool. On my way to london for airasia roadshow.

tonyfernandes tonyfernandes

Marussia with love

Of course, along with the two Lotus teams coming to what appears to be an amicable compromise, Marussia also crept in to the headlines as well. The FIA Commission have apparently approved a chassis name change from Virgin to Marussia, signalling a long term commitment from Marussia Motors to remain in F1.

It does appear as though Richard Branson is gradually backing away from the sport, having spent a couple of years not doing very well at all. I'm disappointed, because I thought they could be the new Red Bull - a team to bring new, fun blood into F1. They still could, of course, but clearly Branson has little interest in the concerns of his last placed racing team.

Changes galore amongst the constructors for the 2012 season, then, but at least we will no longer have two teams with the same name on the grid. That is a big step forward.