Lotus F1 Naming Rights to Be Settled by the High Court

Group Lotus buying into the former Renault F1 Team has now led to a somehow controversial situation inside the world of Formula One. For the first time in the series' existence, we have two teams using the same name (Lotus Renault F1 Team and Team Lotus), the same engines (Renault V8s) and the same official color scheme (green and gold).

The team that has used the Lotus name throughout the 2010 season, headed by Tony Fernandes, has done so under license from Group Lotus' mother company Proton. However, with Group Lotus wanting to make their own entrance into the sport alongside Renault, Proton ended the licensing agreement with the Norfolk based organization and focused on their now-confirmed partnership with Genii Capital (majority owner of Renault F1 Team in 2010).

Yes, the situation sounds complicated, and it will probably rest in the hands of the High Court to decide who is right to use the name of “Lotus” in Formula One and who will have to change it.

Shortly after the Lotus-Renault announcement was made yesterday, all the top figures of Team Lotus' management wrote on their Twitter accounts that they have no plans to change the name or car color scheme of the team for 2011. Less than 24 hours later, the team's chief executive Riad Asmat confirmed this move, saying that the name dispute will probably be settled once and for all in the court of law.

I think that will be fair to everyone and the courts will explain everything to everyone,” said Asmat in a recent interview with Bernama news agency. “Did anyone have any specific guidelines? I am not aware of that. Oh, they (Proton) said they own the (Lotus) name, well we own the name Team Lotus (and) that is why we are racing as Team Lotus.”

Additionally, he insisted that there is a big difference between the names of the two teams, Lotus Renault F1 Team and Team Lotus.

Yes, there is a big difference in terms of ownership,” concluded Asmat.
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