Lotus buys Renault F1 stake to create Lotus Renault team

Group Lotus will officially return to Formula One next year after it bought Renault's last remaining shares in the team which bore the French company's name at the end of last season.

The new team will now be called Lotus Renault after the French manufacturer sold its 25 percent stake to the team's overall owners, Genii Capital, which then sold the shares on to the Malaysian-owned Group Lotus.
This means there will be two outfits in Formula One carrying the name Lotus after the team that competed as Lotus Racing bought the historic rights to call itself Team Lotus - the name the manufacturer used from the 1960s to 1994.

Despite selling its stake in the team, Renault will remain closely involved as it has committed to supplying engines for several years to come, meaning the team takes on a distinctly multinational feel.

However, the cars will have a very familiar look to them, as they will take on the black and gold livery of the old Lotus team - just as the existing Team Lotus are planning to do next season as well.

However, Renault said in a statement: "For 2011, the Lotus Renault GP cars will race in a new interpretation of the iconic black and gold colours that were last used when Lotus and Renault joined forces in the 1980s.

"This livery, which has been on the drawing board for over two months in order to reinterpret its iconic graphic signature to suit modern media requirements, is sure to strike a powerful chord with the sport's enthusiasts around the world."

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "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: We are Lotus, and we are back."

Team Lotus boss, Tony Fernandes, said on social media site Twitter: "[Danny Bahar] has done us a favour. Never felt better about our future and Team Lotus. Looks like [they're] trying to hijack our black and gold idea."
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