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Invasion of the Black and Golds: Bahar says, “Four Lotus cars on grid suits me”
Invasion of the Black and Golds: Bahar says, “Four Lotus cars on grid suits me”
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Dec 2010   |  6:21 pm GMT  |  210 comments

Tonight F1 fans are a little confused and a little concerned as they contemplate a 2011 season with four black and gold Lotus Renault cars on the track, two owned by the Enstone based Lotus Renault GP and two – in slightly different livery – owned by Norfolk based Team Lotus.

The Team Lotus entries have nothing to do with the Norfolk based Lotus Cars operation, which is a 25% shareholder in the Enstone based team.

The Team Lotus colour scheme

The two different Black and Gold liveries – both tributes to the iconic JPS Lotus colours of the 1970s – are at large on the internet at the moment.

Lotus Renault GP’s livery (below) was issued this morning by the team along with its press statement announcing the deal, while a reader has sent what appears to be a scheme for next year’s T128 Lotus with car numbers 20 and 21 (above).

Lotus Renault GP livery

Group Lotus boss Danny Bahar, who now controls 25% of the Enstone based team (livery above), went on BBC Radio Norfolk today to talk about his plans for the company. He brushed off the confusion, saying that it suits him to have four Lotus cars on the grid as it doubles his brand exposure, he’s getting free advertising from Tony Fernandes’ team – but I’m not sure we should believe him on that. This is an unworkable situation from a business point of view, which will cause difficulty for the sponsors of both teams and they will be pressing for a resolution.

“I have nothing against it,” said Bahar. “It’s not a problem for me, four are better than two. The controversy has been mainly pushed out by Media, it’s been dealt with by our shareholders together with 1 Malaysia Team.” (the Norfolk based team)

Although they haven’t commented on the name issue, there has been some Twitter activity from key Team Lotus personnel today on the colour scheme. Technical director Mike Gascoyne Tweeted that in an online poll of Lotus fans 77% wanted them to keep the green and yellow livery, just 15% fancy the black and gold, while 4% of Lotus fans want the Gold Leaf colours of Red and gold.

“Seems pretty conclusive” was Gascoyne’s verdict on the poll.

The two sides will face each other around a table tomorrow at the F1 commission meeting, which is attended by the team principals of all F1 teams, plus circuit owners, sponsors, tyre company, FIA and Bernie Ecclestone. No doubt there will be much talk about this issue. There will also be formal moves towards the 2013 engine formula with small capacity, turbo charged eco engines.

Bahar said that in terms of drivers to partner Robert Kubica, “Our preferred choice is Vitaly Petrov, but I hope that the team will be able to announce by the end of the year the final line up.”

If you are in Central London tomorrow December 9th, come down to the JA on F1 book signing at Motor Books, Cecil Court, London WC2, from 5-30pm until 7pm. As well as a chance to chat about this Lotus story, the Piquets and other stories from the F1 season, I’m delighted to say that Senna Movie writer and producer Manish Pandey will be there so you can ask him any questions you may have about the Senna movie. Copies of the JA on F1 2010 season review book will be available.

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James, some readers have posted about this same question: would it be possible to use this blanck and gold livery, so obviously related with JPS, or would it be affected by the tobacco advertising ban?


I think the better question is to know if BAT is going to take some advantage of this situation, some time ago tobacco companies agreed what they called "Internarnational Marketing Standards" (IMS) were they reduce by a large amount the volume of sports sponsorship specially Formula 1, by todays date i don`t know what`s the status of that agreement, but certainly JPS sales should go up for sure very soon


Interesting question since the color scheme is known to be a tribute to the JPS days. From what I found online the brand still exists. Hopefully as long as it doesn't say JPS or John Player Special, it is OK.

JPS didn't have an exclusive on black and gold race cars. Two examples I know of were the Walter Wolf cars (http://www.flickr.com/photos/devon_henderson/3561110797/#/), and in the Indy Cars, Arie Luyendyk's Provimi car (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2470/3943221094_ef6e9619ca.jpg)


Wolfs' cars started out in dark blue and gold, then changed to black and gold for '79 when they ran with Olympus branding -

the only reason i can see was to ape the Lotus scheme of '78 - as TL had to run in Martini colours.


Renault for the last few years have run their cars in yellow and in the early 90's i think Benetton (now Renault) use to run yellow cars for the Camel sponsorship.... nothing was said, so I can't see a problem.


Lotus was the yellow Camel. With Senna inside, it was the yellowest car I've ever seen.

One could say Lotus were always a smoking team. ¦¬)


Renault was white-yellow on their own right, before tobacco sponsorship, I believe.


This black-gold has originated as tobacco sponsorship, so I think it is different.

Lotus (Gascoyne version) had a good idea of fan competition for updating the black-gold. I thought it was an attempt to create something new - linked to Senna-Lotus rather than cigarette box. Not an easy design task, but potentially could be very creative.

Now they have just copied the old.

Looks good, but I also think cigarette branding is wrong in this case.


If you ask me, the Renault was very close to the Benson and Hedges Jordan, more than the old Camel car.


I think you have a point. The EU are very hot on ciggie advertising and I am pretty sure the brand still exists. Didn't Ferrari get into bother with their famous Marlbrough barcode on the fin? I bet that niether team will be running this paint job and if they try they will be jumped on by the health nazis.


Ferrari did not get in trouble, they simply decided to do without the negative publicity of all those that decided it was another good opportunity to take a stab at them and volutarily removed it.


As none of the funding is coming from JPS, I'm not even sure whether the brand still exists - then I cannot see a problem.


Classic team lotus run their 70's cars in full JPS livery - and Clive Chapman explained that this is legal IF no money changes hands. Presumably the same applies to the modern team.


JPS still exists as a tobacco company. It's now just owned by larger corporations. The lotus' having these colours (pretty as they may be) is just as close to crossing the line as Ferrari's Marlborough bar codes. But hey, if Ferrari can get away with it, then so can everyone else... Right?


I am sorry, what about those barcode lines actually depicted, advertised or even reminded "Marlboro"?? As for the red and white livery of Ferrari... perhaps its worth keeping in mind that it has been around for a while...


To be fair I would argue that although Mclaren did change their colour scheme to be a shinier silver, the evolution of the car colours did come from West, a tobacco brand.


The brand still exists and belongs to BAT but it's not a key product.


JPS belongs to Imperial Tobacco and it is a key regional brand, focused on the 'value' segment



Common sense has to come into play though surely. F1 can;t simply say there can;t be any black and gold cars because they are the colours of some obscure cigarette brand somewhere can it? By that logic most of the rainbow would be ruled out.


It does. Pretty sure players sponsored forsythe racing in indycar until the advertising ban.

Didn't jacques drive for them?


As far as I know the brand does still exist in some countries:


Besides, I think that the problem with tobacco advertising is not where the funding is coming from but what the advertised brand is. At the end of the day, we will have four cars advertising - or simply reminding... - a world wide known tobacco brand.

So maybe we should look into each country's regulations to know if there is any problem?


What about two cars painted red with white elements while the team's full name is Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro?


It looks absolutely magnificent.


Which of the two?


Of course the Team Lotus one!


Nope the group Lotus one!


Totally agree. That is just beautiful...


The livery and names shouldn't be any more confusing than Red Bull and Torro Rosso! (same meaning different language)


The danger is that Lotus Fernandez gets labeled as the Lotus B team (like STR) even though Lotus Renault are not really the main works team (Lotus or Renault)...its warping my mind already...


Good point - but they are both owned by the same man...


Not only that, but Lotus is Lotus in any language (as a team name).


I agree but is there really any need to have four black and gold cars on the track called Lotus? This is just ego running rough-shod over common sense. And it will be slightly confusing for fans new to the sport. Again the business world and it's associated issues comes before what is best for the sport and the fans to some extent.

Christopher Hobbs

James, your oppinion please!!!! surely the FIA won't allow A looky likey JPS colour scheme! and if this is the case who owns the rights to paint their cars green and yellow?


It's not so much an FIA issue as a Bernie issue. Is it good for business, yes or no? My answer would be no.


Mr E is really the only one who can sort that out, since the Malaysians couldn't do that themselves. Who will do that when he's gone?


Its one of the few things keeping F1 in the news at the moment, so I'd guess Bernie is thinking its very good for business right now. Come March of course...

Whilst Lotus F1 will beat Team Lotus in 2011 and 2012, I don't think its impossible for that to change. I remember Pat Symonds being fairly confident that the works Renault team would beat the drinks company from Milton Keynes which seemed eminently sensible at the time...


So do you think Bernie will shut it down James?

Christopher Hobbs

No one can second guess Bernie, but wasn't he involved getting Litespeed and Tony fernandes together? so maybe he see's Team Lotus as one of his pet projects?


I think Fernandes team will become a second division Lotus Team if they do not immediately outperform their seemingly larger cousins. In that case Fernandes outfit will surely fail as Team Lotus - who will want to sponsor the lesser of two almost identically branded teams? This is a shame and a potential example of big money crushing the smaller outfit (although I appreciate that Fernandes is no pauper). Fernandes has been good for the sport, the team's enthusiasm, long term plan, sincerity and integrity about racing should not be lost because a government backed outfit steamrolls them off the playing board. How very F1.


I'm a bit wary of Bernie, there's a chance he might side with Lotus-Reanult (as in the 2nd outfit) because they have more money, are more competitive and therefore can "do more for the sport".

In F1 Racing, Max Mosely once said that it's a bit difficult to trust Bernie because - although he can be trusted - you can be sure that he will always side w/ what best serves his interests. So hopefully, hopefully Bernie will act sensibly and side with Tony Fernandes on this one.


Bernie will be soon..... to get involved !

Marty McSuperfly

Seeing as neither is actually being sponsored by JPS they both look pretty stupid. I'd love to see Imperial Tobacco Group slap a writ on both, forcing them to come up with something original and not a rehash of history, that few under the age of 30 (really) cares much for.

It's akin to someome buying Williams a while down the road and then using the Rothmans colours with no logos. Absurd.

kaszka z mleczkiem

So what are you saying? That JPS onws rights to the back and gold collors....

Marty McSuperfly

Um, no clearly I'm not saying that. But its not beyond the realms of possibility that Imperial Tabacco could order cease and dissist for use of likeness of brand without permission (assuming neither teams sought it). I doubt they will, but you never know.

Its pretty simple, if Wolf came back with black and gold, that would be acceptable because it was their racing colours, independeant of past sponsors.

If Lotus, as a sponsor or team owner, comeback and use black and gold it is reference to a previous third party brand, not their own racing colours.

Its such a easy, boring and predictable paint scheme. I know copying is par for the course on F1, but come on.


Wolf was also black and gold, remember?


James, if my memory is correct the Wolf cars were dark blue and gold.


TF's team came up with the black and gold retro livery purely this to mark themselves out as different to the Group Lotus / Renault entry, who they probably expected to run green and yellow, while still paying tribute to the team lotus of the past. Now that group lotus have decided to blatantly copy the idea, I expect Team Lotus will revert to the scheme they used this year. Which will then probably get immediatey ripped off again, by danny bahar's team.......


I bet team lotus wish they went straight in with the black and gold this year, instead of the green. It would have solved a lot of these problems.


Yea just like its absurd that Ferrari are still blatantly displaying the Marlborough bar code on all their team clothes and the colours and sometimes the barcode on the cars. But I forgot Ferrari are a special case!


Does the city of Marlborough, in England, have a white barcode on their shield?? What connection do they have with Ferrari? This is an absurd injustice, surely!


why on Earth would Imperial Tobacco want to sue them? I bet they can't believe their luck! Four cars carrying explicit advertising for them, without having to be asked, in one of the most watched sports on the planet, for free!


Indeed! Great point.


We were equally confused when there were 2 Schumachers on track. I'm sure 4 Lotus' won't provide much additional confusion - especially if they are at either end of the grid as the Schumachers were.


Haha. How true!


Harley Davidson unsuccessfully tried to trademark the sound of their vee twin. We could end up with an injunction against anyone using the word "Lotus". The Team That Dared Not Speak its Name.....


@ RichB, are you willing to pay for the costs incurred when the coffee that was in my mouth sprayed all over my laptop? 🙂


I'm not sure there was ever any confusion between Ralph and Michael, regardless of pit location.


I think you'll find they will much closer using the same engine. Personally, I love everything Team Lotus and Tony Fernandes has done and now Proton and Brahar come along and try to steal their hard work. It sucks in my view - shame because Kubica is a great driver. All the very best Team Lotus ... happy if you are in Black and Gold or Greeen and Yellow or any other sponsor colours as you have been a superb human team this year and a joy to watch.


Don't forget Mike Gascoyne has got Renault engines, plus the Red Bull gear box and hydraulics to play with. If the four Lotus cars aren't fighting over the same tarmac some or even most of the time, I'll be astonished.


That was a little easier rich. One was at the front and one was at the back. 😉

It will be interesting to see them racing each other next year.

With a redbull drivetrain and a Renault engine, I think mikes tech team will do ok next year.

That red total endplate clashes with gold doesn't it?


as a design element, i think the red end plates actually elevate the visual and functional appeal of the lotus-renault livery to a vantage above the fernandes lotus scheme.

having been reconsidered into the 2011 design - the red carries the equity of a visual vernacular which has been previously established as a clear and obvious mark for renault (genii) it provides a clear link to this past years renault outfit - as well as functionally serving to differentiate from the other "black and golds".

i personally felt that this past years renaults (yellow red) were some of the best looking machines on track...

i'm pleased to see that they've chosen to retain some of the identity. foresight of this sort helps to lend stake to a brand over time - and give us, as fan, more recognizable livery to don. (so we don't have to continually rehash things of old, doing so could stand to tarnish what we cherish about these things in the first place, especially if the redux fails to live up to our expectations of the original.)


Yeah but I'm not so sure they will be at 'either' end of the grid. Fernandes lotus will have the same engine and also a car that's been in development by Gascoyne for well over 6 months already, whilst proton's lotus at best is aiming to be behind the top 4 teams with cash shotfalls so we could well see both of them fighting on track as well as off it.
My concern is for the commentators trying to explain which cars who, another problem if they have same livery is that during a safety car when cars dive into the pit I just hope there's no confusion on which pit box drivers go into.


The LotusRenault and TeamLotusRenault livery designs are simply awesome.

You can imagine the photograph images of them around tracks like Monaco and Singapore and it's breathtakingly stunning.

10 out of 10 allround guys.

Absolutely cannot wait to get merchandise items of BOTH teams' products !!


A minor point, James, but the Hingham team's 2011 car will not be the T128.

1) Group Lotus will not give it a Lotus Type number, as they did with the 2010 car in happier times.

2) Even if they did, 128 would not be the next number in the series as Group Lotus have launched more car projects since the T127.


if Team Lotus stay with the green and yellow it shouldn't be too confusing because the cars will just be the Lotuses and the Renaults won't they?



As Renault have sold their stake is it no longer a Renault chassis?And if not do they lose all their FOM money?


I believe the team will retain the FOM money, according to the article the name will be Lotus Renault. If I remember correctly, the FOM money follows the team if the name is there, which is why we saw BMW Sauber F1 this season. Sauber wanted to keep the FOM money, so they kept the BMW name.


No it is a Renault chassis, that doesn't change


There have been 4 Red Bulls this year and it has not always been easy to work out which was which.

Group Lotus look like they are committing financial suicide trying to get into all the different forms of racing in quick succession. Sponsors will not go near Group or Team Lotus while this dispute goes unresolved. Clearly Group Lotus should have bought Team Lotus off David Hunt years ago when they had the chance rather than trying to take it for nothing. Combining the two and building on the past brand was the only logical thing to do. They have now split the brand and are both trying to link it to a pack of fags that sponsored Team Lotus years ago. No business logic there ... just egos behaving irrationally!


I can't help but feel Lotus (the 'Renault' one) are shooting themselves in the foot here. Having 2 teams with Lotus in the name is one thing, but to then blatantly 'steal' the idea of the Black & Gold livery from Team Lotus (who announced it long ago) is somewhat childish.

Team Lotus (Tony, Mike etc) seem to have a lot of fan support - even from people like me (a Red Bull supporter). I really can't see what Lotus/Renault hope to achieve from this.

I'm pretty sure Bernie will bang some heads together before long, and I doubt we'll see 2 Black & Gold Lotus liveries on track new year - if any.

Something tells me Team Lotus will come out on top with all this.


There are many confusing aspects to this situation, but one in particular is puzzling me. It is my understanding that Tony Fernandes acquired the naming rights for Team Lotus from David Hunt. Group Lotus dispute his claim to the name and that is basis for one the legal battles involved in this whole mess. But, if Tony Fernandes owns the name Team Lotus, why does he need a licence to use it from Group Lotus? Maybe I've mis-represented the facts or I'm missing something. Can anyone explain?


They don't now. Tony Fernandez didn't buy the rights to the "Team Lotus" name until late in the 2010 season. They got the licence to use the Lotus name from Group Lotus/Proton via the Malaysian Govt for the 2010 seaon in 2009 when the team was set up. They have never owned the rights to Team Lotus which was bought by James Hunt's brother after the original Lotus team folded at the end of 1994. This is why the team was called Lotus F1 this season. All the kerfuffle comes from the fact that Group Lotus/Proton think that they bought the rights for all of the Lotus brand when they bought the car manufacturing side. They do not think that the rights of the Team Lotus name was ever Hunt's to sell in the first place and now that they want to enter F1 in their own right they obviously want to use the name "Lotus". What they fail to appreciate I think is that Colin Chapman in the early days of Lotus split the F1 team and the car manufacturing sides of the company into two separate companies: Lotus Cars and Team Lotus. I think (though I may be wrong) that this has already been tested in court in the UK. When it comes down to it I think Group Lotus/Proton have by far the most to loose here. Fernandez's Team Lotus was there first, they have built up the support of the fans and the relationship which the Chapman's, they are the established outfit so to speak. However, if worst comes to the worst all that will happen is they are forced to change their name. If Group Lotus/Proton loose then they will not be able to rename the Renault team, they have little support from the fans as I see it, they have made themselves out to be bullies basically, they have already stated that they will not be referencing the traditional heritage marquee brand of Lotus and they will have bought 25% of the Renault team for essentially no benefit.


Cheers Simon, Beautifully written - I'll look out for future posts. Good Luck to Team Lotus and Tony as they really have built a superb fan base from a new team and in all the right ways.


This is extremely well put and I very much agree with the last point. I can see why a any team might want to exploit some very powerful historic reputation (i.e. Lotus), but I can't see the sense in Renault coming along as tail-end Charlies trying to rip-off the goodwill which Team Lotus have built up last season. It just seems like a way to attract a huge amount of negative publicity.

But I love the livery... (which will look great with Kubica's helmet as well).


Team Lotus win the battle of the liveries for me....


There was a competition on the Lotus Racing website to design the black and gold livery for next years contender which only closed on Sunday so the picture of the T128 is unlikely to be the actual design as I haven't seen a winner announced as yet. As such I can't see too much difficulty in Team Lotus continuing on with the green and yellow especially as it makes them more unique in the paddock (i think they should stick with it despite entering the competition).

Can't help feeling most people will support Team Lotus as they changed opinions to resurrecting a famous name by operating with respect and professionalism - I include myself in that as now my favourite team despite my initial misgivings. Team Proton Renault appears to be the result of Bahar seeing the success and popularity Fernandes' team gained last year and wanting it all for himself like a child wanting everyone elses toys at Christmas.

Team Lotus have the rights to the name and show more respect to the marque than is currently being shown by Bahar. Seeing as Lotus Cars and Team Lotus were always separate I can't see how Tony and Mike et al can be forced to change the name when they have done everything correctly and most importantly legally. Could well make for interesting spectating over the next few years. Anyone else notice how the Lotus Europa has now been badged as a Proton - sign of things to come???

Merry Christmas James, thanks for the high quality content in 2010!


Shouldn't the Proton/Renault/Lotus team be renamed Protus?



Or make it really hard for the commentators and call it ProLoNault, or is that just mean?

In all honesty I'd say that most people will refer to the team as the Renault team. Fact is that Team always built open seater cars and raced them, Group made, marketed and sold road cars. In this situation it is still Team making race cars and Group marketing for the purpose of car sales. During a race only the main name is used, so that would surely be Renault, who must be loving the prospect of a free F1 team......much like Group did last year before they got jealous.


Fantastic idea! Team PROTUS! =)


Thanks and Merry Christmas to you too


Yes mr Bahar. The Media has created this controversy. Not your (parent-)company with a lawsuit and an inflammatory press-release, denouncing the commercial rights of Team Lotus. The rights of both old and new Team Lotus that is.


From Bahar's point of view he is absolutely correct, "four is better than two".

However he could have his benefactor Proton's, name on his cars, they need the publicity far more than Lotus Cars do. Neither has a huge pot of cash

The fact that he is "passing off" is another matter.


Team Lotus colours were always BRG and yellow (same as the Lotus badge).

Black and gold are still the JPS colours, now owned by the Imperial Tobacco Group. Cigarettes in this colour packet are still for sale. If ITG makes any attempt to capitalise on the colours these F1 cars use I think we'll see the tobacco ban come into action. Seems to me crazy to run cars in the colours of a tobacco company that's supplying no sponsorship. Surely they need to develop their own identity?

Personally I think last year's Lotus car was the best looking on the grid -- but then I remember this colour scheme in action first time round, with Jim Clark driving.

Christopher Hobbs

The Green and yellow '49 has got to have been the most beutifull racing car ever! And when tony painted the T127 in the same colours he had me hooked.


The Team Lotus livery looks way nicer than the Lotus Renault one.


Prediction :

One LR team will use Spandau Ballet's 'Gold' (1983) to launch their model with.

The other LR team will probably go with Sam Sparro 'Black and Gold' (2008) when the proper unveiling of the cars happens in Jan/Feb.

It matters and it doesn't.


And then we though that USAF1 was a joke.

Are these ppl insane?

Do they really think they look professionals?

Do they get that the real Lotus livery is green and not this?

Not matter how many years Mclaren ran with Marlboro livery it will always be orange the one that belongs to them.

Can you imagine how hard their rivals are laughing at them.

I feel so sorry for Kubica.

Bad day for F1


I know this is simplifying the issue ... but surely there is some rule or regulation regarding the name and visual identity of your team not clashing with a team already in existence? Any ideas?


I'd like to see the Fernandes Lotus keep the Green and yellow colour scheme, always preferred that one myself.


I read two classic comments from Tony and mike today (apologies James for regurg, but made me chuckle)

Tony > twitter > in Bangkok. Funny, first meeting room called lotus. Wonder if dany is going to sponsor that.

Mike > twitter > lotus, just like buses. You wait for ages then two come along at once.

I personally would like team lotus to race in green and yellow next year. As much as I liked the original jps car.



do you happen to know when Senna movie will playing around Europe or when it will be available on DVD?

Regards, M


Opens in UK in May/June. I think it's opening in Italy just before


Since when did the classic Lotus black and gold livery feature gaudy red blobs on the front and rear spoilers - it just destroys the whole effect. Does it draw inspiration from someone having a nosebleed onto their packet of JPS fags?

It could be that Group Lotus have got themselves confused with the similar black, gold and red Walter Wolf livery (although the WW looked far better!) - maybe the loser of the court case should be forced to adopt this moniker instead.

Also I find the branding displayed on the Group Lotus Renault car totally bizarre - the most prominent name on the car is actually that of Renault with Lotus tucked away at the rear. Strange...surely a smaller, more discreet "powered by Renault" logo would have been more appropriate if we are supposed to take this to be THE Lotus on the grid. Maybe they weren't to sure what to call it themselves...

Surely the powers that be will not allow four cars called Lotus with the same branding and colour scheme. Already there are too many cars with far too similar colour schemes on the grid.


Hi James, good to see that people everywhere seem to like my designs for the T128 (if that's its real name).

Here are the full boards with both designs. Email me if you want to hear a bit more.

T128 "EF": http://www.electroduo.com/LotusT128EF/

T129 "AS" http://www.electroduo.com/LotusT128AS/



You won the competition didn't you? With the emerson one?

Well done!


lol - So this was not designed in any way by Team Lotus people. This was just a nice looking job by we do not know who! It goes to show how people can easily be eluded by images.


Vintage with a modern twist. I like it!


Thank you Raphael. I now have great desktop wallpaper..


The 129AS is absolutely stunning. I love it. Well done. I hope if Team Lotus choose to go b&g, it looks as close to these as possible.

I've always loved the classic Lotus liveries, and always hoped they would be used on modern F1 cars. This years Lotus' looked great, but the black & gold is just beautiful. Did you try any Gold Leaf mock-ups with the white/red with gold band? I'd love to see what that would look like also.


Absolutely incredible - thanks for sharing.


These are great, what about the third design? Is this just for fun or are you connected to Lotus somehow?


Thanks Raphael, great links.

I'd vote the "EF" design my favourite!

Hussein S Lokhandwala

Not sure I buy Danny Bahar's 'free advertisement from Fernandes' outfit' argument. If that were the case then he needn't have invested into the Enstone team at all, and could have ridden the free press Team Lotus was generating.

I cant see much point in Fernandes putting up too much of a fight here. Aside from the fact he ran under the banner for a year, the only real link he has with Lotus is the fact he bought a piece of paper that says he can use the name. At least Bahar works for the people who own a Lotus going concern, and still manufacture Lotus products.

Backing down now is likely to cost them points with the fans, and no doubt have commercial implications on the sponsorship side, but if they get the court ruling then it has to be worth taking a payday from Group Lotus and renaming to something else. In essence they are Fernandes F1, not that catchy but no harm in calling a spade a spade.

Prisoner Monkeys

The problem is that because Group Lotus and Team Lotus are separate entities (though Dany Bahar claims otherwise), Group Lotus is getting free advertising at Team Lotus' expense. I doubt that Team Lotus will be able to compete with Group Lotus in 2011, so we get a situation similar to Red Bull and Toro Rosso. To the casual observer, the similar names and liveries are going to make it look like the two teams are one. This is highly unethical, and borders on anti-competitive behaviour.

For exampe, let's say I make desk chairs. And in the desk chair industry, there one one clear leader. We'll call them Desk Chair Inc. for want of a better name. Desk Chair Inc. have been around for years and are very well-known. They also make a very distinctive product. Now, I'm entering the market. I want to start make my business as profitable as possible, so I name my company Desk Chairs Inc. It's a subtle differemce but it's there. And when I'm making my desk chairs, I start copying the design of my competitor with a few adustments to make them different enough that we haven't violated their patent. All my marketing is similar to my competitor's. What I have essentially done is carefully craft my company and my product in a way that imitates my competitors. I'm stealing their market share away by fooling consumers into thinking they're buying from one company when they're really buying from another. I'm trading on their image and their reputation when I have no right to.

That, I feel, is what Dany Bahar has done. Group Lotus have put themselves in a position whereby Team Lotus looks like it is the "junior" team. To the casual spectator, any success Team Lotus has could easily be mistaken for Group Lotus (and vice versa, but because Group Lotus are working with a successful team, it's much less likely). Group Lotus have managed to exploit a loophole in the rules forbidding teams running under the same name by taking the role of title sponsor rather than constructor.


do you not understand that group lotus have never had a part in F1, team lotus is a different entitie

Hussein S Lokhandwala

I do understand that, but that is not what the argument is here. Neither entity can actually claim to represent the 'real' Team Lotus. Until Fernandes concluded the deal with Hunt, Team Lotus was still a ghost. Chapman had it setup as two entities to prevent one from dragging down the other in event of failure. Whats happened since then is that Team Lotus did fail (in all but the rights to the name), and Lotus Cars was sold on. To my mind, nobody can deny Group Lotus wanting to enter F1 to promote the Lotus brand. It gets messy when they try to appropriate Team Lotus's past glories as their own.

By the same token, I see no reason why Fernandes has any superior right to claim the same. I like his team, and I agree that they've done a good job, but I don't see what any of that has to do with the name Lotus. Why bother taking on the Malaysian government et al when there's not much to gain. Even if they were called Air Asia F1, they still would have been the best of the new teams, and they've still got Renault engines and Red Bull backends next year.

Whats Fernandes's endgame? And why should Bahar be villainised for doing the same thing Fernandes did by riding on past glories?


I was also wondering how Western broadcasters and health ministries will respond to this mobile fag packet livery being run after the trouble that Ferrari still seemed to attract from running that weird bar code thingy which of course had absolutely nothing to do with a certain cigarette brand.

Any chance of McLaren bringing back a white car with red chevrons? In honour of the road marking industry of course ;o)


Danny Bahar has been working on getting in to F1 for a long time now, he wasn't happy at all when Tony Fernandes annonced they would be team lotus next year.

Fair play to Danny Bahar, he clearly now has the upper hand!


A long time? Bahar been CEO of Group Lotus only since September 2009. Fernandes got the F1 slot in Sept 2009, which he applied for by the May 2009 deadline.

Fair play is not the first quality that comes to mind listening to Bahar's quite misleading claims.


This whole mess is purely down to danny bahar's ego.


Should we start a petition to Team Lotus to stick with British Racing Green?????? If someone could that would be great.

Why would you change your livery from your Teams traditional colours to a historical sponsors colours... it doesn't really make that much sense unless a current sponsor wants those colours.


But they're not British! They're Malaysian. So *neither should be using Brit Racing Green!


They are made in Norfolk by British


Aren't they all?

Doesnt matter anyway: if they're Malaysian they shoud be some other green - maybe chartreuse?

If I buy some team headquartered in the UK and call it... oh lets say "USF1", should I paint them British Racing Green? No I dont think so!

There should be a law!


Much more like it Raphael.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Imperial Tobacco must be loving this. 4 for the price of 0!

Why doesn't Tony F use the Gold Leaf colours....the colours fit in better with his Air Asia brand?


Even if we end up with 4 Lotuses on the grid as Group is the title sponsor and the car is still a Renault - surely all the timing screens and graphics will show still show Renault? I mean they never mention Vodafone, Marlboro or Petronas do they?


Very, very good point.


Almost as stupid as the CFL (Canadian Football League)where we had the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders....seems a bit Monty Python to me.


One thing strikes me, it's bound to confuse Legard.

If he had trouble telling the difference between a front and back wing.......


OK.. Fernandes time to be original now and out do Bahar in creativity here:

- we all know who came with the Black/Gold revival idea..

- we all know who stole it.

Time for Fernandes to come up with the coolest, maddest ever livery in F1... and let it not be gold / black but something "BRAND NEW"

That is the spirit we like... who wants a copy cat anyway?

So.. something fresh.. come on, there must be graphical designers outthere who could be mobilized in an online contest... same for putting it out there for the fans to vote on!

Come on Fernandes (we know u reading this), INVOLVE US, YOUR FANS, and be ahead of the copy cats...

(BTW the renault-genii-bahar livery will never match the original black gold)


This is an intriguing shift, it sounds to me like they're playing chicken with each other. Also the Team Lotus car is not none that i recognise...the nose is an evolution from this year but the res is quite different. Could this be a hint at what their 2010 challenger could look like or is it too early to say? What do you think James?


the Team Lotus car is a fan design, not a team design. A vert good fan design, but not official


Have to wonder if Fernandes sold Bahar a dummy on the livery. Bahar probably recognises that having two Lotus-named teams in the same livery (a la Red Bull/STR) is good for the Lotus Cars brand.

Fernandes probably gets more out of it running in a different livery, so now they can turn back to green/gold without loss of face.


Team Lotus Ventures registered the use of green and yellow on an F1 car as a trademark - in October 2010. I think you're right, Fernandes never really intended to run black/gold at all, which is why he ran a competition rather than paying a branding expert to do it! The contracts for F1 sponsorship specify what can be done with the sponsors logos, what form they'll take, how large they must be, where they will go - there's a fair chance that many of the competition entries would be unusable. For example, the one above doesn't actually use the Team Lotus pendant, which Fernandes was careful to use on his aeroplane (to resurrect the trademark).

The Enstone car has been done by a branding consultant. That's why the Total logos are on the red background, despite it jarring with the rest of the car, because Total require the logo to be white on red.


The biggest shame here is that we're loosing the Yellow & Black of the classic Renaults. I was delighted when they used it this year as it looked fantastic. Sad day.

As much as i like the classic JPS Team Lotus colours (and i very much do), and as happy as i would be for Team Lotus to use them next season, the Green and Yellow is just as pretty and would be nice to see on the field again. If Team Lotus continue to use Green & Yellow, i wont be displeased.


The company that has to be grinning ear-to-ear about this is Total Petroleum, because their red signage is now going to be the most distinguishing thing about the Renault. Personally I think this is ludicrous, but the naming rights issue is more important than the cars, because it won't be the first time that two teams have similar looking cars (McLaren and Mercedes aren't that different afterall). In 1985, Benneton had primary sponsorship of two teams, Alfa Romeo and Toleman, so that part isn't unheard it (although I think the Alfa was green accented in white and the Toleman was white accented in green to avoid confusion).


Is anyone else becoming tired of this lot yet? Like kids taking digs at each other on twitter, for goodness sake.

Besides, if history is anything to go by, Fernandes only has to wait a few years before the car company Group Lotus pulls out of F1.


The thing is, there won't be four Lotuses in the race. I'm sure 99% of the media and the fans will refer to the Kubica/Petrov cars as "Renaults" - because that's what they are!


I cant see a good reason, why they should make a "Miami mice" version of JPS. Lotus is a strong name and made history long before tobacco sponsorship era. Green and yellow was good enough and had more Lotus in it.

One more thing. Black is suspicious, it is going to be difficult to pass technical inspection.


James, I'm hoping you might be able to clear something up for me:

Back when Campos Grand Prix changed their name to Hispania, I recall reading that they were forced to use the HRT name because the FIA does not recognise "Hispania" as a word. I don't have a link to the article, but I have a very clear memory of it elaborating to say that there were three conditions for a name change: 1) the name must be an actual word (so I can't name my team "Xyzzy Grand Prix"), 2) the name must not reflect negatively on another team (so I can't name my team "Ferrari Sucks"), and 3) the name must not be the same or similar to an existing team for the purposes of identification (so I can't call my team "MacLaren").

Although Red Bull and Toro Rosso are owned by the same company an essentially mean the same thing, they can largely get away with it because their names sound the same. But here we have two teams intending to be known as "Lotus-Renault" (or some minor variation thereof), both of them are locked in a legal battle over the rights to the name, and both of them are intending to run similar liveries in 2011. I cannot for the life of me imagine that this would sit comfortably with the FIA.

What I'm hoping you can clear up for me is the question of whether or not the FIA can actually do anything about it. I'm pretty sure they might be able to force a name change on at least one of them (personally, if I were Jean Todt I'd say neither of them would be allowed to run the name without a unique identifier, like "Gravity Lotus" and "Fernandes Lotus"), but what about the livery? I suppose Bernie Ecclestone might be able to do it.

The reason why I'm asking is because it's just so damn confusing and it's all being fuelled by egoes. Dany Bahar comes across as being petty and upset that there is still a place for the Lotus name in Formula, but he was not the one to bring it back and so is staking his claim to it. He doesn't seem to care about the history associated with the Lotus name, only in one-upping Tony Fernandes. While impure motivations aren't much for the FIA to act upon, I'm wondering if you could please clear the matter up for me. We've never had a situation like this before, but what, if anything, can the FIA do about it?


I'm looking into that myself

Prisoner Monkeys

Thanks, James.

The more I hear about this, the less and less I like it. Bahar saying that he doesn't object to four Lotus cars on the grid? Well, of course he doesn't object to it - he's getting free publicity! With four cars all called "Lotus-Renault" and all running black and gold liveries, Fernandes' outfit is going to become a pseudo-Toro Rosso. Group Lotus is no doubt going to be faster than Team Lotus next year, but the names of them and the liveries mean Team Lotus will look like some junior spin-off from Group Lotus. Because Group Lotus will be faster, anything Team Lotus does will nly be credited to the Group. After all, Lotus Cars is already claiming Team Lotus' heirtage as their own in their marketing for their road-going cars. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but the way I'm looking at all of this, Bahar is using Fernandes to make himself look better. I can't imagine that Bahar cars for the history associated with Team Lotus as anything more than a marketing tool. He's going to ruin the Lotus name for the sake of selling a few more road cars that all look like knock-offs of other manufacturers' current models (the cars unveiled in Paris earlier this year look suspiciously like an Aston Martin, a Toyota FT-86, a Lamborghini and a Honda NSX).

This whole thing reeks of skullduggery. The sooner someone like Jean Todt intervenes and puts an end to this nonsense, the better.


Team Lotus color scheme seems beautiful it's sad that as you say they won't use it now.

Not that i don't like the green and yellow but it's a shame that they are being bullied out of there plans because of Group Lotus.


I for one would love to see the old red and gold colors come back.


I used to have a gold 'Camel' Lotus and a black 'JPS' Lotus as Scalextric cars when I was 10, so I think they should toss a coin and go for either one of those!



When Toyota was competing in F1, there were two teams using red, albeit with different shades of the colour so I don't see why two team's racing in black should be be a problem.


Some commentators find it already difficult to distinguish between Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars, so I think four Lotus cars all painted in similar colours will bring even more confusion. That can be funny in a way to witness, but as they probably won't be too close to each other on the grid, it shouldn't be that bad.

And I think these are really nice liveries. I was only thinking - do they have to be so similar, don't they want to make it different, do both teams want to stick to those colours or don't they have other ideas for different schemes? 🙂


the norfolk lotus livery you show its a contender of the livery contest they made... not the definitive..


As I said, sent in by a reader. Looks pretty good to me..


Isn't stupid for Lotus a car manufacturer to be named Renault Lotus ? Why not Mercedes Lamborghini, BMW Ferrari or whatever.

The problem is that nowadays industries aren't managed by engineers anymore, they're run by commercial guys like the Briatores. Mr Bahar was hired by Ferrari to enhance the merchandising and here he comes to Lotus with that depressing Commercial mentality. F1 is only a commercial tool. I do understand that from a sponsor perspective but the people who run and own the teams shouldn't be driven only by that and it's even more important when those teams are of Lotus pedigree.

With Fernandes, you feel that emotional link with the team heritage as he had the blessing of Champan's son and he showed a vision for the team. Mr Bahar is coming like a Bull with no respect for either history or Team Lotus

ownership. He'll end up with the Lotus name for sure but I hope that he won't achieve any of the success he seeks.

Actually, I don't have to hope as he won't achieve any success. The Enstone structure isn't the best anyway and with 4 strong teams well established in F1 nowadays I don't see them rising to those high standards. Maybe they will have to hire Briatore once more as he seems to be the only one able to make the Enstone team win titles with some cheating along the way !


Not true, Enstone is a great facility. Widely acknowledged that Renault won their two World Championships in '05 and '06 on a fraction of other teams costs - purely because their organisation was so efficient.


Thanks to Briatore. No matter how he's hated and how immoral he is, the guy is efficient. He's the only one who made Enstone deliver.


And thanks to Alonso-MassDmper union also...


Has anyone seen Bahar's new Lotus car concepts?

They look about as Lotus as the average espresso machine, like reject Lamborghinis.

If he had any sense they would follow the Chapman pedigree and the core point of difference of the Lotus brand by staying lightweight.

Now, having a knock-off F1 team dressed in the colours of someone else's glory is hardly going to help - its going to look just as Johnny-come-lately as the cars themselves.

It's all going to end in tears, and regardless of what Bernie or the High Court decides, time will tell and the cut-throat nature of the luxury car market will probably nail Bahar's F1 dreams anyway.

Go "Team" Fernandes & Gascoyne!


This isn't about livery, it's about professionalism and having four cars on the grid claiming to be a descendant of Colin Chapman is insulting at best,

Fernandes and Gascoinge seem to have the best intentions of doing 'the right thing' and have already put their money where their mouths are. They are the ones that have Chapman's hat waiting to be thrown in air and to me are the nearest we'll ever get to a genuine 'Team Lotus'.

However it seems that as long as you have cash you can buy a team (Renault which isn't really Renault but that's another story isn't it!), paint your car black and gold and put Jim Clarke's name on your alumni list!

It's mental and I hope that someone sorts this bloody mess out. Once again our sport is manipulated and led by no-nothing money makers who have persuaded some government to give them enough money to fill Wembley and the FIA let them waltz in, take them to dinner and then act all surprised when they leave in the morning having got what they wanted!

F1 is little more than a one night stand for these characters!

I sometimes have to question why I bother to watch this damn 'sport'.


Given how similar Red Bull and Torro Rosso are I don't see the big deal.

Apparently Fernandes is going to run a green scheme anyway, so it's not even an issue.

Anyway if Bahar is fine with Fernandes outfit then what's the problem, I think that's pretty reasonable of Group Lotus to let Fernandes do his own thing. Do I do find it puzzling that Fernandez would seek to deny Lotus cars the right to run under their own name.

The bigger question is, why would Fernandes want to run a Team Lotus team without the cooperation of Group Lotus. It's clear Group Lotus have their own plans so Team Lotus will just end up being free advertising for Group Lotus. Great for Group Lotus because they got four cars worth of branding, and they don't have to pay for Tony's team, but what's the point of Tony doing it, it seems misguided to say the least on his part.

Prisoner Monkeys

The big deal is that Red Bull and Toro Rosso are owned by the same company. Group Lotus and Team Lotus are not. They're busy waging war with one another over the rights to the Lotus name.


James, in terms of the record books, who would be more eligible for points, wins etc towards the "original Lotus" teams tally?


The Team Lotus (Fernandes) car looks way cooler. Shame it won't be way faster.

The Renault has got pink bits?!


As a young'un, for me the 'classic' Lotus look remains green and yellow having only really got into F1 in the early nineties- I think people try to hard to hark back to the past to be honest, and whoever the 'rightful' Lotus is should go green & yellow (for me, Mike & co.)


How authentic is the pic of the Team Lotus livery? Have to admit (like most of the other readers) that its on the money (so to speak).

If these turn out to be the actual liveries, its even worse than RBR/Torro Rosso situation - they are way too similar.

Bernie will need to change the F1 regs - there is regulation 21.1 for distinguishing between team drivers (yellow & red on board camera) which won't be helped by 2 teams with

Resurrecting JPS livery comes with an enormous responsibility and living up to the history of drivers who raced in those colours - Peterson, Andretti, Fittipaldi, de Angelis, Mansell and of course Senna. The problem is I doubt Trulli and Kovalienen can stir the same emotion or are in that same class...Kubica maybe...


It's one of the contenders in the fan competition, as far as I can make out. Not the winner, but I'm not sure if they have picked a winner yet


Tony Fernandes has invested a lot of time, effort and money into reviving (in terms of current F1 participation), why should he just roll over and allow someone to grab the Team Lotus name and simply edge him out? The whole affair has some unpleasant bully-boy overtones to it.

I can't help but think it would have been better for Group Lotus to let Lotus Racing continue under its licence, get promoted entirely for free and instead invest the money raised for its F1 entry into their road car range/R&D.

The whole thing reminds me of the money MG/Rover pumped into various motorsport activities towards the end whilst simultaneously failing to get their crucial new road-going 45 model to market.


The Team Lotus colour scheme - Looks much better and is elegant.

Lotus Renault GP livery - Seems a bit strange, colour scheme seems off balanced. Too much thick lines.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso already looks similar, Lotus too.

Looks like identification will be the red endplates from the front wings which could be difficult when bunched up.

Not a good idea IMHO.


I can see some interesting ad campaigns in all this. How about:

> "We're Lotus; We make sports cars; we don't know *what that other "Lotus" team Does"


James, one question here. We know whatever happens, Lotus Racing has changed its name to Team Lotus. So, does that mean they are not going to retain the 10th place they earned this year?


He. Perhaps Group Lotus is pushing for "Lotus Renault" so that they can get the money for 5th AND 10th. ¦¬)


Change of chassis name is the problem, change of team name isn't.


If Lotus Racing do apply change their chassis name,do you see anyone who would object?

Prisoner Monkeys

There really should be a rule about this sort of thing. Renault have no connection to the team other than being an engine supplier, yet the team is able to retain the name so they can get television rights? That doesn't make sense. If team ownership changes, it stands to reason that the constructor name should change with it, especially if the original constructor has no influence over the team.


I've just started to look at this as if advertising doesn't work, why do all these companies splash their cash out when clearly it doesn't work and this is an example, because if it did, Lotus cars wouldn't of bought into Renault as they would of saw huge rises in sales of Lotus road cars from the Team Lotus of this past year.

I don't expect Proton/Lotus/Renault/Genni Capitol or whoever owns this team to be around for long before its sold off.


owmygod, the Lotus badge looks humongous on Lotus Renault GP, isn't it?! They managed to make their car look like a Total disaster. I cannot believe they've made a mess of the black & gold livery 🙁

Team Lotus should stick with the racing green. Of course, much more simplified (graphically) and with a lighter shade of green because their cars looked quite dark on screen.

The ethos of the team should show on the car. Red Bull, McLaren and Force India all have beautiful liveries.


OK 2 teams with Renault name on it... 2 teams with Lotus name.. 2 teams with Black Gold livery...

I will only take one of them as serious spectacle to watch if they get a yellow helmeted driver by the name of SENNA.

Doesn't matter if it never matches the real thing but fans will want to see a Renault Lotus-BG livery-Senna combination out there...


I honestly think that Proton have dropped the ball here in a big way.

Their argument appears to be that they want to have absolute control over the Lotus brand, which is not unreasonable. But wouldn't it have been simpler to just buy into Fernandes' Lotus operation. TF and MG have produced credible cars on a tight budget in a short period of time and next year will have the same engines as Renault, but with the Red Bull gearbox. Whilst Proton are buying in to a more successful team, they are not getting the good will that the Lotus F1 team have generated. In fact if anything they are making themselves look like a corporate machine that is trying to bully an entrepreneur out of the sand box. Echoes of BA and Virgin in the 80's and 90's anyone?

Proton where offered the Team Lotus name and didn't want it. They could have started in F1 last year with Lotus Racing. They have come to the party late and are gate crashing in my opinion.


Of course Bahar doesn't have a problem with it. It means Fernandes' team will be effectively be carrying free advertising for Lotus cars.


Can't help but believe that Dany Bahar has fallen into a bit of a trap here in trying to out-do Fernandes & co. For all his talk of owning the 'original' Lotus brand - he's ended up with a sub-standard variation of the 'Team Lotus' name and without the original Lotus colours.

If I was Fernandes, I'd revert back to green & yellow. And when the meeting with Bernie takes place, Tony can point out that their squad have:

- The original 'Team Lotus' name

- A years racing under their belt as 'Lotus' and therefore a standing in the WC under that name.

- The original team colours

- A self-built and manufactured car

- The apparent legal right to race 'Team Lotus' in Formula 1

Faced with that, Bahar seemingly just has a sponsorship deal with an existing team and a livery that came from a secondary source (JPS). Their legal case for the right to race under the Lotus name looks weak also - considering that they attempted to buy the rights from David Hunt several years ago. If they don't acknowledge Mr Hunt as ever owning the rights - then why exactly would they attempt to buy them from him?


I submitted an entry to the black & gold competition, which would make that annoying - but I'd prefer them to do the right thing than my thing.


Team Lotus say they will not be using the Black and Gold, and will instead probably stick with the Green and Yellow.

Christopher Hobbs

JAMES do you have any news from today's F1 commision meeting? and do you think this Lotus issue will aired?


It saddens me that so many people are missing the plain and simple point. Tony Fernandes has no interest in the Lotus brand name. This was/is just a money making opportunity.

However, unlike his old boss Richard Branson, he is not placing he's confidence to promote his airline. What doesn’t any one question this?

It’s no surprise to me that the UK has lost most of the prestigious great names in sports car manufacturing. Lotus cars are still a British company (owned by a Malaysian company) who make great sports cars. Why accept that Ferrari are the only desirable sports car maker who are also a top f1 team?

Proton have done a great job at supporting the company since 1996 and here is a damn good opportunity to do just what Ferrari did in the 70's and turn the company into a global force.

Passion drives success! Lotus are doing exactly the right thing and Tony should respect that. Please, to all those reading understand that the Lotus Racing License is under 1 Team Malaysia. His other motor sport teams are under tune group or Air Asia. He was also told several months before starting the team in 09 that Lotus did not want him to buy the lotus team as it would cause complications. He went ahead anyway. You can't buy history.

Any Brit who criticizes Lotus should be ashamed. Reading these blogs, I reckon there's more passion for Lotus outside of the UK than in it.


"Turn the Company into a global force" ?

Group Lotus? Oh please, I don't think so!


Probably a stupid question, but does the black livery have an effect on cooling issues during very hot races?


surely the potential to have 4 black and gold cars is a moot point now that team lotus have to change their name. what's the point of such a throwback to a now unrelated racing team of the past when you're called 1 Malaysia racing or Tune or whatever.


I don't know why these people choose to run a car under a name from the past. yes I do; marketing.

Neither of these Lotuses (Loti?!) is a Lotus no matter what the Chapmans say.

A Triumph is not a Triumph either. Some dude bought a name for marketing puposes and slapped it on his bikes. I would call it cynical and greedy. Some part of the success of the business comes down to the efforts of others who worked heart and soul for the original company which has no link to the new company.

And the crowd buys it...

Hats off to Redbull and Maclaren and all those big and small who have the courage to go it from scratch.


er,go: could not agree more. i've said this somewhere before but Michael Jackson having owned the rights to Beatles songs didn't make him a Beatle.

i get what people are saying and agree that Lotus Group are behaving dispicably, but let's not forget that all they are fighting over is a badge. Neither of them has anything to do with CC or the original Team Lotus. where as i would gaze in awe at the old cars of yore, i have no strong feelings about either of these new teams and honestly don't feel either of them have the right to the Lotus names REGARDLESS of how much they paid for them.

for me the worst thing about this is that Kubica is caught up in this. i think he's a brilliant driver and it would be a shame for him to be involved with an unpopular team.

i also feel sorry for the staff at Lotus/Renault: after Piquetgate, Flav, loosing Alonso and now this they have had a pretty tough time of it in the last couple of year. it's a real shame for a team who have proved they are entitled to be on the grid in whaever guise. Twice.


did Michael Jackson ever cover a Beatles song? That'd be a real laugh. You'd end up with something like the chipmonks or whatever the were called.

The blokes at Renault must hang their heads in shame going down pit lane after all the sad stories about the management of that excellent team. I feel sorry for them, but respect too because they keep plugging away and getting the job done.

Christopher Snowdon

James, quick question, Bernie will be loving all this publicity, especially over the name and colour scheme of one of formula one's most powerful and historical brands, and even more so that they want to resurrect one of the most powerful images in formula one history?

Bring back the red and white Mclaren's & the blue/white and yellow William's I say. Turbo engines are around the corner, we have a Senna amongst the ranks (should have had a Piquet), a Rosberg, new privateer teams, see where I'm going with this?


The soap dispenser and toilet roll holder in my office toilets are made by a company called Lotus.... wonder if they will change to black and gold instead of blue and white next March? 🙂


What a debacle that only F1 seems capable of.


Neither team is a true Lotus team, there I said it.

If Ferrari leaves F1 and then Toro Rosso buy Ferarri's naming rights and paint the car red, it is not a Ferrari.


I prefer the Green & Yellow livery anyway. Green and Yellow were the original Lotus colours.

I always thought the "Black" was a very dark shade of Green?


Team Lotus wins hands down


I just like to say:

Loads Of Trouble, Usually Serious

Even when it's just the name, let alone the cars!


The commentators will have fun with these four cars next year; all the same color and with similar names!


Quick question - With Renault chassis to remain a Renault chassis, does anybody know what Lotus Racing chassis was named in 2010? i.e. Lotus Racing, 1 Malaysia etc.

Just seen Bahar comment that "We are Lotus, we are back" - yet he claims he isn't trying to trade on previous Team Lotus success. Besides, how can Group be back where they never were? Nevermind Montezemolo's career aspirations, this man should be a politician!


Count me in as another one for green and yellow.

I recall when Jaguar had that beautiful BRG (metallic?) car, that Martin Brundle was smitten. IIRC, he thought it the most gorgeous car in the paddock.

Team Lotus (I have got the right one, haven't I?) could do something pretty special, pretty iconic, and pretty ... pretty (!) with some more creative thinking about their current green + yellow.

If they put on a NEW fan-designed livery contest, I might just have to have a go!


I trekked into London James but apparently your signing was postponed because of the protests at Westminster. Will it be rescheduled before Christmas? Still managed to find a few books to purchase so not a wasted trip. Stu


Really sorry they called it off because of the road closures etc in central London. I'll speak to them about a new date and let you know. What books did you buy?


Thanks for replying James. No problem, keep us posted.

I bought a book on servicing classic Mini's (ahead of buying one to tinker with) and a July 1982 edition of MotorSport magazine. Your good self excluded, most modern race reports seem very dry in comparison to Jenks' descriptions. What a story teller he was! And if the second coming of the turbos is anything like the first, we're in for a real treat.

Keep up the good work and have a great Christmas.


Just to add to that - I also made my way there. Wasn't an easy day to travel across London though, so I can understand why it was cancelled.

Would be great if it was rearranged, but if it isn't I'd just like to thank you James for all the work that goes into this site. Far and away the best Formula One content on the web, bar none!



Maybe you can come up with a note on why Lotus (or BRMs) were Green and Ferraris are Red and Matras (or Prosts) were Blue, and Hondas White and Mercedes are Silver

Seems most fans are two young

I loved the BRG and yellow Lotuses this year, I would keep those, or maybe Tony Fernandez has to decide which color Malaysia should use, I am sure there is none assigned to it

Happy Holidays all fans

thanks for the site James, it is the only way to survive until March


I think garza was saying that this might make a good "off-season" article -- to educate those who are younger about national racing colours.

Fans do get excited about livery...

It could also explain why McLaren was *orange*. 😉 (I grew up following Bruce & Denny in the CanAm series. Nostalgia!)


Quick wiki search for international auto racing colours says that Malaysia should be yellow with black numbers - rather like last years Renault lol.

Some of the national colour schemes sound horrendous! Certainly wouldn't want to see a car in Jordan's colours line up next to one in Egypt's, I'd stop watching!


National racing colours in those days. Blue = France, Green =UK, red =Italy etc


Like most of our friends posting on this site, I think Tony and Mike have done a great job in the sensitive way they have effectively re-launched what they can now call "Team Lotus."

By way of contrast, we need to remember that the original intention of the Malaysians ( Proton etc ) was to end up with a team named Lotus totally based in Malaysia.

That they would even consider doing that shows that they have no understanding of the role of the name "Lotus" in F1.

Presumably they intended to see Tony Fernandes built it up with the Lotus name under licence, take back the naming rights, buy the team and then transfer the factory and everything else to Malaysia.

With Tony having acquiring the rights to the "Team Lotus" name, and Proton etc buying into the Renault team, things may obviously have changed somewhat.

Clearly because Tony and Mike have done such a good job and are committed to maintaining their team's Norfolk roots, British followers, (including me) and many other F1 fans around the world will much prefer to support them going forward.

So turning to a colour scheme for 2011 :

Some close friends of mine own Colin Chapman's original Travco Motor Home, it's been restored to it's glorius JPS livery and looks great but, even so, I don't think it's sensible for there to be four black and gold cars on the grid.

The GLTL Red and Gold perfectly suited the '49 but I don't think that two tone scheme would fit in very well on a 2011-style car.

The simple lines of the 2010 Lotus were perfect for the green and yellow colour scheme and it was certainly the best looking car on the grid. It won't be any kind of climb down if they give up their black and gold idea.

So, like most of us who want to see "Team Lotus" succeed, I think it has to be back to Green and Yellow.

As for the Travco, you could never see a team like Lotus-Proton-Renault wanting to have anything to do with it but Team Lotus respect the heritage and you could imagine them being interested.

That's the kind of thing that makes "Team Lotus" so appealing to real F1 enthusiasts.

Just this once, I feel a little sorry for the French. They don't have a driver in F1 and now they won't even have a team to support.


You've got it wrong. Being a Brit living in KL I can tell you it was Tony Fernandes that stated to Malaysians that he will eventually base his factory at Sepang and make it a wholly Malaysian team under lotus name! Plus play the Malaysian national anthem on the podium.

Why he can't just call the team Air Asia and do the same as above to make Malaysians proud! Because there's too much risk and less money opportunity!


With all these similar cars (four Red Bull/Toro Rosso, four Lotus whatever), is it time to bring back large visible numbers for the cars so that we don't have to squint to see the helmet colours to tell them apart?


If the subliminal JPS message of black and gold is allowed, Ferrari should be permitted to put the barcode back on their car in my view.


I'm reminded of the ending moments of a certain Monty Python film:

"I'm a Lotus and so's my wife!"


Having had the Red Bull/Toro Rosso present and now two Lotus teams (although more separate than the RB/TR combination) just makes a mockery of Formula One. I despise the Toro Rosso/Red Bull issue and I will not like this either!


I found this yesterday.

It states that Group Lotus has rights to name Lotus in advertising services, in particular the service of renting out advertising space on the exterior surfaces of racing vehicles, none being in the field of Formula One motor racing.

In turn Team Lotus Ventures have the rights to name Team Lotus in advertising services included in Class 35, all relating to Formula One motor racing; but not including any such services relating to pre-recorded tapes.

So we can say that Team Lotus Ventures has the rights to compete in F1 with name Team Lotus and furthermore Group Lotus doesn't have the rights to have a team Lotus. So seems that Lotus Renault GP's name is illegal. "

It was the latter that was sold to Tony and is the basis of the now Team Lotus.


I should say that I copied the post from http//:saveteamlotus.com that got cropped from my post.

Of course it may mean nothing because:

1) The FIA go by French law and the IP registrations are in the UK. and

2)David Windsor tweeted yesterday that Tony has been told to change his team name.

I don't think the FIA realise the depth and breadth of feeling that this subject has created in the UK fan base nor the furore that will engulf them if Group Lotus are allowed to keep their name. David Hunt will almost definately take action against them.

However as I have posted elsewhere, I think that GL will not be able to support F1 for long and Proton have little or no money to throw at it either.

Lawyers will be rubbing their hands and ordering new cars!


Thats how my Lowyer friend explained it to me too!

Tony has the rights to 'Team Lotus' and that brings with it the exclusive use of the brand Lotus when connected to all things F1.

Group Lotus owns the rights to 'Lotus' in all arenas except F1 because of the existence of 'Team Lotus'. This means that Group Lotus have no right to use the name Lotus in F1 as 'Team Lotus' own that right exclusivly. i.e. Tony Fernandes can stop 'Lotus Renault GP' from having Lotus in their title in the world of F1. Thats the power that the rights to the name 'Team Lotus' give him, exclusivity!

anyone else agree, dissagree or clarify this point ? ? ?


my only question is why TF had the licence deal with Group Lotus and not David Hunt for this year, if Hunt is indeed the rightful owner of the Lotus F1 brand.


That's a great find. I'm not at all surprised to see that Group Lotus don't really have a leg to stand on after reading Peter Windsor's interview with David Hunt (here: http://bit.ly/8XBrkp).

Anyone who looks deeply into the situation can see that the Lotus racing team was always kept as a separate entity to the Lotus Cars arm of the business. So for Bahar to declare that they're one in the same is just nonsense (and proven by the fact that himself and Proton attempted to buy the racing rights from David Hunt several years ago).


I'm having lunch with him next Wednesday, I look forward to finding out more


If Lotus Renault GP does not want to associate themselves with the history of Lotus, why did they to use the black & gold livery?

Doens't make sense to me.


No Oliver, they do want to, indeed they have claimed so, but they do not have the right to do so. Their use of the Lotus brand specifically excludes F1, whilst the right which Tony has bought from David Hunt is for F1 only as Team Lotus.


Tony's free promotion for lotus cars is not making any sense, old team lotus has nothing to do with the current team... Tony's only motive is to use the publicity & sympathy for promotions of his brands air asia & tune hotels... chapman was a racer, engineer & a fighter pilot. Tony is a business man wanting to make money.

i like tony's team, but i'm not ready to buy into the team lotus illusion story

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