D amit has now officially made the Lotus Group what has been simmering in the rumor mill for a long time. In competition with Lotus Racing, which already competed in Formula 1 in 2010, the Lotus Group is now entering the premier class with a stake in the Renault F1 Team.
Renault sells shares Genii Capital
The size of this stake was not disclosed. So far, Genii Capital held 75 percent of the racing team, 25 percent belonged to Renault. Renault has now sold its shares in Genii Capital, but remains an engine partner and technical development partner. For this reason, the chassis will continue to be sold under the Renault name. In addition, the Renault logo should be clearly visible on the car.
The Lotus Group expects the partnership with Genii Capital and its involvement in Formula 1 to provide a technological benefit that will be incorporated into the development of the Road cars should flow into it. At the Geneva Motor Show, the brand, which belongs to the Malaysian company Proton, presented a real firework of innovations.
For Lotus Managing Director Dany Bahar, a long-cherished dream is now coming true. 'I can't think of a better platform for automobile brand advertising than motorsport and Formula 1 is the top of formula racing,' said Bahar. 'We know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of our brand in Formula 1 and I am delighted to be able to clarify our position once and for all: We are Lotus and we are back.'
With the new partnership between Lotus and Genii Capital, a well-known blaze of colors is also returning to Formula 1. The cars of the Lotus Renault GP racing team will roll onto the track in 2011 in a refreshed black and gold design that is supposed to be reminiscent of the earlier Lotus era.
Fight for traditions and names
This also alludes to the Lotus tradition in Formula 1. It was actually revived in 2010 with the Lotus Racing team. For the 2011 season, team boss Tony Fernandes had acquired the naming rights to the original name Team Lotus from David Hunt, brother of former Formula 1 world champion James Hunt. But whether there will be two teams with the name Lotus remains questionable. Even so, the confusion is great, after all, Lotus Racing recently announced an engine partnership with Renault.
Fernandes, however, sent messages to Heikki Kovalainen and Chief Technology Officer Mike Gascoyne via Twitter: 'No matter how many Lotus teams there are on the grid, there is only one and that is you.' Incidentally, in the press release Renault speaks of the '1Malaysia Racing Team' in connection with Lotus Racing.