Team Lotus and Renault F1 Renamed for 2012

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Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP (that's Renault to thee and me) have finally settled their [url="http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=23693"]long-running dispute over the use of the Lotus name[/url] after F1 bosses agreed that Renault could change the name of its cars to Lotus for 2012.

Team Lotus, meanwhile, will run Caterhams next year (after team owner Tony Fernandes [url="http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=23548"]bought out the British sports car company earlier this year[/url]) and will change their official name to reflect that.

Oh, and the Virgin team will now officially run Marussia chassis. But you probably don't really care all that much about that...
So remember: Team Lotus, nee Lotus Racing, is now Caterham. And Renault, nee Benetton (or possibly even Toleman), and also called Lotus Renault GP, is now Lotus. Clear? Good...

And whatever the names of the cars lining up on the grid in 2012, at least we won't have two entirely separate teams with Lotus badges and Renault engines...


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I know right! Just as well I held off buying a Lotus Renault or Team Lotus or Lotus Racing t-shirt! Will I have to buy a Caterham now?

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[size=4][b] [font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] The rumours are confirmed...........................[/font][/b][/size]

[b] [size=5][b][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][b]Group Lotus Plc and Proton Holdings Berhad, 1Malaysia Racing Team, Caterham Cars and Tony Fernandes [/b][/font][/b][/size][/b]
[b] [/b]
[b] [/b]
[size=4][b] [font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif] Hingham, UK - 9th November 2011 [/font][/b][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Proton, Group Lotus, 1Malaysia Racing Team and its owner Tony Fernandes are delighted to announce that the legal dispute in the English Courts relating to the "LOTUS" and "TEAM LOTUS" brands has now ended amicably with the parties agreeing settlement terms earlier this month.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The terms of the settlement are confidential but the deal sees the "LOTUS" brand reunited under the sole ownership of Group Lotus. This includes the rights to the "LOTUS" and "TEAM LOTUS" names in Formula 1 motor racing.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]1MRT will race in the 2012 Formula 1 season under the name "CATERHAM F1 TEAM" and will use a “CATERHAM” chassis.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The deal also sees a working relationship established between the parties and they will work together on future projects in the automotive field.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar: “On behalf of Group Lotus and Proton I would like to express how pleased we are that this matter is finally closed and we can now focus on looking forward to the future.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]“We understand that this has been a very difficult and confusing time for the fans of the sport and the Lotus brand so we are glad to have reached a clear resolution on this important matter – I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their continued support, it means everything to us.”[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Riad Asmat, Group CEO: "We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to Formula One when many tried and although we are sad to say goodbye to Team Lotus we are excited about owning our own future and being in control of our own destiny. Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain green and yellow.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]"Now we look forward to an exciting future racing under our new team name of Caterham F1 Team. Please continue to support our very special spirit of never say die and support us on the track as we move up the field and demonstrate that the good do win."[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=comic sans ms,cursive]As I said elsewhere, I suppose we shouldn't have expected any other outcome. A huge vote of thanks to Tony Fernades and the Hingham team for bringing the Lotus name back to F1. They have been brilliant and their PR and fan base services have been superb.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=comic sans ms,cursive]No doubt Group Lotus gave a handsome profit to TF for the Team Lotus name.[/font][/size]

[size=4][font=comic sans ms,cursive]The good news is that we all now know where we stand and while the Lotus fan base may well look away from the Caterham F1 Team in favour of the new Team Lotus, I suspect that many will keep looking over their shoulder towards the Hingham Team with fond respect. The bad news is that Mike's Musings in the next issue of Chicane may be a little out of date.......[/font][/size]

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