Posted on May 20, 2012
Lotus F1 team

Commercial partnerships and collaborations in F1 are commonplace, with most teams having “technology partners”, “performance partners”, “logistics partners and so on.

Now the Lotus F1 team has gone one step further and found an “angry partner”; Rovio, the Finnish company behind the popular Angry Birds game. It’s a tongue in cheek story, but designed to draw attention to a couple of significant milestones for both companies.

“While Lotus F1 Team will contest its 500th Grand Prix in Monaco, the No.1 digital game in the world – Angry Birds – has just reached 1 billion downloads. As a result, both brands have decided to join forces to celebrate these respective milestones,” said the Lotus statement.

Angry Birds has become the number one paid app of all time and its branding will appear on the Lotus cars at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. This recalls the Williams tie-up with Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1993.

It’s interesting to note that the Enstone-based team is now talking about Lotus’s Formula 1 history, having finally aligned the Lotus road car brand with the Team Lotus F1 brand, following the settlement of the case with Tony Fernandes. This milestone refers to the team which was Benetton and Renault, rather than the Team Lotus line, but it highlights how confusing it is for this team to talk about its history.

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Lotus F1 team “angry” ahead of Monaco Grand Prix
78 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Josh
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 8:47 am 

    I hope Kimi wears an Angry Bird-designed helmet in Monaco :)

    [Reply]

    Allwyn Reply:

    and go crashing on a wall ? :)

    [Reply]

    Josh Reply:

    who’s fat in F1? maybe he can crash into those :D

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Wonder what will happen to Kimi when you tap him?

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    …turn into a penguin?

    [Reply]

    saleh Reply:

    he will freeze you just like the ice bird :)

    [Reply]

    Quercus Reply:

    What is this ‘Angry Bird’ game?

    [Reply]

    Raymond YZJ Reply:

    Nah that’s Heikki :P

    Maybe he could do the yellow bird though :P

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Rob
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 8:47 am 

    Didn’t Fernandes and co celebrate Valencia 2010 as Lotus’ 500th? And will anyone else statistically ignore their time as Lotus? (not that they contributed much)

    [Reply]

    DMyers Reply:

    James points out that they’re talking about Toleman/Benetton/Renault’s 500th race :-)

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Andy
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:01 am 

    I think it’s a bit sad when an F1 team uses the history of another team, especially when the only thing in common is the name.
    Are they counting Renault, Benetton etc in this 500?

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    It’s my argument against the Mercedes GP team.
    This F1 team is not run from Stuttgart, but from Brackley, and it’s history reads as Tyrrell, BAr, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes.
    Apart from the name, there is absolutely no connection to the legendary Silver Arrows.
    In fact, if Mercedes had bought the Toyota F1 outfit and changed it to Mercedes, it would have closer links to the German squad due to its geography.
    This “Lotus” team has as much right to the name as Mercedes to theirs. Toleman, Benetton, Renault, what a joke!

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Jon
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:01 am 

    They mean Enstone’s 500th GP, don’t they? They seem to be distancing themselves from Team Lotus’s history more and more by the day – very strange when they fought so hard for the name. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see ”Enstone F1 Team” before long.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    I would love to see Enstone race alongside Milton Keynes, Silverstone and Brackley!

    [Reply]

    Toleman fan Reply:

    They mean the 500th grand prix for Toleman Group Motorsport and its successors.

    Not Enstone, because the original base was in Witney. The team had already taken podiums, fastest laps and a pole as Toleman and at least one race win as Benetton before leaving their industrial estate base in Station Lane, Witney and moving to the purpose built site down the road in Enstone.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Jo Torrent
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:03 am 

    How can LotusF1 have a partenership with Rovio ? No one will buy that @RGrosjean is an ANGRY BIRD

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Sam
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:06 am 

    But didn’t the Lotus Group withdraw its sponsorship from the Enstone-based team?

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Timo
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:10 am 

    Hi James – I think Lotus is referring to the 500th GP for Enstone manufactured cars rather than on Lotus’s formula 1 history.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Alex Rushen
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:16 am 

    James,

    I saw last week at Spain that Kimi had an angry bird logo on his cap – are Rovio a personal sponsor of Kimi and this agreement just extends this to the team for the Monaco GP?

    [Reply]

    RodgerT Reply:

    Would make sense, since they’re also sponsoring Kovi.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: tony taylor
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:18 am 

    If they are going with Chapman’s lotus history does 500 include the Sa GP in 82 or the World Wide Racing entry of 56b at Monza. Likewise do Ferrari count Surtees win when the entry was by NART?

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: arale
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:21 am 

    Rovio focus upon racing this year. They sponsor Kimi and Heikki personally, and they’re gonna introduce Angry Birds Heikki in June. Good for the Finns!

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Philip Taylor
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:30 am 

    James,

    Lotus F1 Team doesn’t appear to be leaning on Team Lotus history at all. With 491 entries and 489 starts it would take at least 9 GPs this year for them to make the claim.

    In fact they are celebrating what would be 500 GP starts (514th entry) for the Enstone based team through Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Lotus. Having said that I’ve done a quick total and I think Barcelona was their 500th start!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Confusing. Thanks for the note, updated

    [Reply]

    Philip Taylor Reply:

    No problem. It’s one of those random things I checked when I saw their press release.

    It’s amazing that they continue to confuse even after everything was supposedly ‘settled!’

    [Reply]

    Adam Codony Reply:

    Exactly. The team has been claiming the Enstone’s heritage since the beginning of the season. Not only their car is called E20, they also claim 3 WCC (1 from Benetton, and the remining 2 from Renault). This evidence can be seen on the motorhome walls and in the 3 stars on the top of the car.

    On a side note, if anyone is interested in seeing the Williams-Sega tie-in, here’s an article with pictures from the cars: http://srb.sonicrapidboard.com/index.php?showtopic=1688

    I hope it’s not a problem by providing a link to another site.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Paul
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:40 am 

    There’s a racing themed version of the game due out in June. However it’s not going to be themed around Team Enstone but around previously-branded-Lotus-Finnish-Caterham driver Heikki

    [Reply]

    Pormestari Reply:

    At Lotus Facebook site there’s now a small Lotus-themed Angry Birds game.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: jpinx
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 9:43 am 

    Nice one !!! :)

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: George Newton
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:15 am 

    Sounds fine apart from were does this leave Catheram man Heikki his helmet has been angry birds?does this mean they have lost another tie in to the ex Renault now lotus team or was Heikkis helmet unofficial?

    If it wasn’t then lotus need to ask their marketing team to stop stealing Caterhams ideas and find their own?

    Any answers James?

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Rob
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:17 am 

    Can you clarify how they’re defining 500 GP’s, James?

    Is that for Lotuses, be they Chapman, Fernades, or Lux owned etc.

    Or is it 500 for the team which began as Toleman and became Benetton, Renault etc?

    Rob

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Michael Simms (ratef1.com)
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:19 am 

    They seem to be picking and choosing which history they want, as they mentioned on twitter a few days ago that they consider the Benetton statistics from the 80′s/90′s to be their historical results, not Lotus…

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: ColinZeal
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:23 am 

    Lotus will have been in 500 races?
    OR
    The Enstone outfit will have been in 500 races?

    I mean its just silly these stats.
    If they are including original Lotus efforts surely they need to take what is now Caterham’s races into to consideration!! :)

    Toleman, Benetton, Renault, Lotus. They are the Enstone Team to me. How many races have the Enstone team completed?

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    499 obviously!

    [Reply]

    ColinZeal Reply:

    Its obvious now that the post was updated to make this clear…… :) …… thank you though

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: James Enocre
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:36 am 

    Interesting you mention the Sega thing with Williams. Do you remember their package included a painted “hole” in the side of the car showing the drivers legs with Sega written on the overalls. I remember someone in the Williams museum telling me Frank was not happy with that – until he saw it when he couldn’t stop laughing. You could have huge fun doing the same thing with Angry birds.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Steve
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:42 am 

    It never fails to astound me how innovative this sport can be, both technically and Markettingly!!! (to invent a new word :-) )

    Does this mean we will see full grown men Costume on the streets of Monaco?

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Jonathan
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 11:12 am 

    Strictly speaking, ‘Lotus F1 Team’ is contesting its sixth Grand Prix in Monaco!

    Even granting that Lotus F1 is in some sense the same team as the classic Team Lotus, I still don’t know how they ended up with 500.

    Team Lotus competed in 491 races between 1958 and 1994. So if you include the Tony Fernandes years, they are up to 535. But if you exclude the Tony Fernandes years, they are only on 497, in which case their true 500th GP will be the British GP.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Ron W
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 11:12 am 

    Nostalgia is long gone and the whole ‘Lotus’ constructor thing is a farce of epic proportions.
    In no way whatsoever do I connect the Bennetton/Renault team to the Lotus team. You can’t buy history despite what the circus is telling you. Having said that, it’s not just the F1 team – the latest Lotus Elise is 1.2 tons – almost twice the weight of the first car!! CC is no doubt ready to drop a big bag of washers on fair few people!!
    However, money talks and the increasing majority who watch will buy into it all.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: JR
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 11:38 am 

    “While Lotus F1 Team will contest its 500th Grand Prix in Monaco”

    I think someone is confusing the Lotus F1 Team with Team Lotus.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Bob Smith
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 12:03 pm 

    Wasn’t Valencia 2010 Lotus’s 500th Grand Prix? I guess the current Lotus are leaning on the original Lotus’s history but conveniently forgetting about Lotus/Caterham!

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: John o'sullivan
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 12:04 pm 

    If this lotus f1 team are using historic lotus stats form other teams, are they using tony fernandes’s lotus stats also?

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Robin
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 12:05 pm 

    I see the title and I think one thing, then read the article and think another.

    Personally, I think this is a pretty okay idea and actually chuckle when I see Heikki running around with his Red Angry Bird helmet.

    Honestly, with Sauber having Chelsea’s logo on their car, this is not the worst thing to have on an F1 car now.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Ole
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 12:26 pm 

    Let’s just hope the drivers don’t get inspired by the Angry Birds behaviour and becomes self-destructive when the race starts.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Paul
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:01 pm 

    Don’t they have an existing connection with Caterham, hence Kovalainen’s Angry Birds styled helmet?

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Matt
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:04 pm 

    Hi, interesting news from the Lotus team. Any ideas how much a one off deal like this is worth to a Formula one team?

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Bruce
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm 

    I am not sure I like this! Lotus was an F1 name from, I believe, 1958 when Colin Chapman was in charge as the founder, designer and technical chief until he died in 1982. The team itself continued until 1994 when it closed down.
    The F1 team was separate from the car division which was eventually sold to Proton. Team Lotus came back into being with Tony Fernandes in 2010 and has now been morfed into the old Renault tean who had no, repeat no, link with Lotus at all.
    So how can they say that it’s the 500th Grands Prix for Lotus when they have absolutely no link at all with the original team?
    It’s not on and I hope that no-one will agree with this. The old Lotus team is dead and buried! This team is a totally new one without the right to call themselves a proper Lotus team!

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Parisian Bob
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:13 pm 

    small point, but I ask if I may, why the photo you carry for Lotus news always is of Grosjean and not Raikkonen?

    For Ferrari you always show Alonso, quite right. Other teams are largely equal drivers, but not these two I think. (Although I normally support everything French!)

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Kay
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm 

    So Lotus and its drivers will race in anger ahead of Monaco then hey? :D :D :D
    Heh nice partnership.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Tom Weaver
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:21 pm 

    James,
    Doesn’t Heikki Kovaleinen have an Angry Birds helmet design this year? Is this another shot across the bows in the Lotus/Caterham dispute?

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Jonathan
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 1:57 pm 

    Stick a green pig on the finish line, and Lotus will win no problems! :) I just hope they aren’t the exploding type of Angry Bird…

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: SH
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm 

    I may have been dreaming, but I could have sworn I saw Angry Birds graphics on a couple of driver helmets at the Barcelona GP.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Aljo
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm 

    Presumably their 500 includes the, Group Lotus sanctioned, (Fernandez) ‘Lotus Racing’ races but not the, Group Lotus disputed, (Fernandez) ‘Team Lotus’ races ?

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Travis
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm 

    I thought Angry Birds was sponsoring Heikki…now they’re joining up with another team?

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    Maybe they think Heikki still drives for a team called ‘Lotus’ and they’re gonna end up with a puzzled look on their face at Monnaco? :)

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: Cody
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm 

    How is this going to work with Heikki being aligned with them in some way while driving for Caterham?

    http://media.t3.com/img/resized/an/xl_AngryBirds_Heikki_624.jpg

    I don’t think F1 needs another legal battle between these two organizations.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Sebee
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 2:46 pm 

    Turns out that the F1 ECU from yesterday can indeed run angry birds! :-) . And I thought that my comment was a bit silly.

    May I just say, Plants vs. Zombies is a way better game. Honestly I’m surprised how crazy people are about Birds.

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: LD01
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm 

    I could see some fun resprayed cars for this occasion. Would be a great bit of promotion, seeing two Angy Bird themed cars zip around the millionaires playground of Monaco. It would steal the limelight from whoever is in first place. Hope they do something along these lines.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Nigel (USA)
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 3:14 pm 

    Did they announce it with a Tweet?

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Bakdraft
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm 

    Hmmm I thought Heikki and Caterham were promoting Angry Birds?

    [Reply]

    Ro_Jo Reply:

    Angry Birds is owned by Rovio which is a Finnish company and in turn personally sponsor Hekki and Kimi. So for Monaco, they’re doing a team thing with Lotus but continue to personally sponsor the Finns.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: brandon
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm 

    They have nothing to do with the Lotus of old. Who do they think they’re kidding? Wannabes and the only reason they’ve any talent is because they’ve bought up the old Renault team and a couple decent drivers. The management of the team probably love Angry Birds though so it’s good that these two fine brands are collaborating together.

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Michael
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 4:41 pm 

    Neither enstone nor caterham are lotus as far as I’m concerned it’s stupid .I do like the themed cars though , I liked redbulls starwars car as well.
    I thought heikki had the angry birds eyes on his helmet because he has mad eyes the same ,didn’t know it was an official partnership.

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: smellyden
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm 

    James it seems interesting the revenue streams that Lotus have been getting from Rovio and also from Microsoft. F1 seems to be very lacking in sponsorship from these types of business’ but they are exploiting it better than most, any particular reason for this?

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: Russ
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 5:37 pm 

    So if I buy lotus does it mean RUSS has 500 starts?
    I dont think so.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    Absolutely!

    We’ll all come to your place to help you party, too!

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: jasonC
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 5:49 pm 

    I find the debate over team histories a nonsense. The named ‘team’ only exists until that group disbands.
    It would appear at least that is FOM’s take on it in the current debate with Mercedes.
    I for one do not support the buying of a team brand in an effort to cash in on the history surrounding it. As a car manufacture Mercedes has the right to reclaim the brand but even then, for them to draw on the ‘Silver Arrows’ legacy is streching it. The Lotus name should have stayed in the past with it’s proud legacy.
    It is time some form of ruling was made around this to stop the nonsense and if a team wishes to use a former team name or associated name then a strong assocoation must be proven.

    What’s next? Arrows, Jordan, Brabham, BRM etc.

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: Rich C
        Date: May 20th, 2012 @ 10:07 pm 

    An amusing PR ploy, though a bit silly.

    One wouldn’t expect the glitterati at Monoco to even *know what angry birds is, either.

    And as for that 500th GP nonsense…

    “Lotus” are becoming F1′s version of social climbers.

    [Reply]

    Hendo Reply:

    At least they’re backing it up by climbing up the rankings with their on-track performance.

    Is it really all that silly – it’s got us all talking about Angry Birds & Lotus…PR job done

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    I seriously doubt there’s many of us here in their target demographic.

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: John O'Sullivan
        Date: May 21st, 2012 @ 10:57 am 

    OK, if Lotus F1 are claiming Renaults races from 2002 to 2010, are the claiming renault’s races from 77 to 85?

    [Reply]


  49.   49. Posted By: olivier
        Date: May 21st, 2012 @ 12:28 pm 

    Ohno! Great sponsor, wrong team. The angry bird ethos is more in synch with Caterham than Lotus.

    Or perhaps Angry Bird could sponsor two teams?

    Caterham = birds
    Lotus = pigs

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: Craig in SG
        Date: May 21st, 2012 @ 12:57 pm 

    It seems there are a lot of people who are having trouble comprehending the following line;

    “This milestone refers to the team which was Benetton and Renault”

    Must be a bit disheartening, James, when you take the time to include such information only to see comment after comment indicating that they haven’t even read the whole piece. Trust me, it does feel better when you stop banging your head against the wall.

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Mitchel
        Date: May 21st, 2012 @ 1:18 pm 

    James, have you ever posted a Lotus-related article that hasn’t produced 90% confusion on the following thread?!

    It always raises a smile when I see ‘Lotus’ in the headline…:)

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I know. It’s amazing. That’s what they are dealing with. So odd for them to claim 500 GPs, as it’s across several different teams. If it’s Lotus, then let it be Lotus’ history, no?

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: Dave Aston
        Date: May 21st, 2012 @ 1:47 pm 

    I’d like to see Lotus do well this weekend… I’m getting sick of Maldonado/Williams dominating this year.

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: Bob
        Date: May 23rd, 2012 @ 1:07 am 

    The 500th grand prix refers to the Toleman, Benetton, Renault, Lotus history. It it NOTHING to do with Team Lotus or the green cars from the last two years.

    Please try to understand this before you start criticising the team!!

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: Toleman fan
        Date: May 25th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm 

    “the latest Elise is 1.2 tons..”

    Lotus claim 924kg for the top Elise S, with abs, airbags, stability control and the rest, plus about 220hp. A lot more than a K-series mk1, but not quite 1.2 tons.

    What -does- weigh 1.2 tons is the new Exige. Over on Autocar, this is being slated in the forums for its weight and cost, and how ridiculous it is to offer a convertible Exige when everyone knows an Exige is just an Elise with a roof on.

    The problem is that what everyone knows is wrong. The new Exige is basically the cabin and nose of the old car, grafted on to the back half of a modified Evora chassis, and with the Evora’s almost-350hp, 3.5litre V6. Yes, it’s a lot heavier than the old car, and a lot more expensive. But looking at what’s in it, and how much faster it is than the old one, it’s not too surprising…

    [Reply]

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