For the next season until 2017, Group Lotus will be the title sponsor for the Renault F1 Team, the Forumla1.com website has reported. This comes as a significant move by Proton, the owner of Group Lotus brand name. Lotus, famous for making exotic sports cars, is a British marquee and was active in Formula1.
Next season onwards, the team will be known as Lotus Renault GP. Group Lotus will also become major equity partners in the Renault team with current owners Genii Capital. Mean while, Renault will continue to support the team as a supplier of engines and technological and engineering expertise.
Does this mean that Renault is finally planning to exit the Formula1 team management? For sure, this move points fingers to that question. Renault has bagged great bargain here. While it wont own the team, but it will have its brand prominent. Lotus is very exited about this new development.
To quote from Formula1.com: Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.”
The Malaysia backed Lotus Racing, the team that brought the Lotus name back to Formula1 (under licence) managed by Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes last season will be known during the 2011 Championship season as Team Lotus. They will continue to compete next year under the new name and they are switching their engine supplier from Cosworth to Renault.