Lotus Racing becomes Team Lotus

il y a 13 années - 1 Décembre 2010
Malaysian-owned Lotus Racing has entered the 2011 Formula 1 championship under the new name of Team Lotus, in spite of a legal dispute over the use of the evocative brand name.


The FIA issued the official list, with Italian Jarno Trulli and Finland's Heikki Kovalainen named as the Lotus drivers. They were in Lotus Racing in 2010 but had not been confirmed formally by the British-based team before the list was published. A team spokesman confirmed the details.

Team principal Tony Fernandes acquired the historic Team Lotus name, used by late founder Colin Chapman in the glory days of the 1960's and 70's, after a disagreement with Malaysian automaker Proton and its Lotus Group.

However, those rights were disputed by sports-car maker Lotus Group, which has ambitious motorsport plans of its own. A court case is pending in Britain that could so far force another renaming.

Fernandes said after the 2010 season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, from which his team emerged as "best of the newcomers", that he wanted to keep the Lotus name but did not want to damage the brand.

To complicate matters, there were rumours that Lotus Group to be close to a sponsorship deal with the Renault team, part-owned by the French carmaker whose engines will power Team Lotus in 2011. Renault will enter for 2011 under the same name as this season, nevertheless.

The other notable change on the list concerned Sauber, which finally truncated the BMW part of its name a year after being sold by the German carmaker. It will now be known simply as Sauber F1.

The top four teams in the championship all have unchanged lineups, with world champion Sebastian Vettel partnering Australian Mark Webber at Red Bull.

Michael Schumacher will continue his comeback with Mercedes together with compatriot Nico Rosberg and Ferrari has presented Brazilian Felipe Massa with double champion Fernando Alonso again.

There is still hesitation about Renault's second driver, with Russian Vitaly Petrov not confirmed alongside Poland's Robert Kubica.

Williams also have a vacancy, even though Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado is expected to partner confirmed Brazilian Rubens Barrichello if the GP2 champion's funding from state oil company PDVSA submits as planned.

Toro Rosso had no named drivers on the list, although Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari and Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi have been confirmed separately by the Red Bull-owned team.

Force India, HRT and Russian-backed Virgin Racing have yet to name their drivers.