Team Lotus wins right to keep its name

Updated: 


A judge has ruled in the high court that Tony Fernandes's F1 team can continue to use its Team Lotus name.

Justice Peter Smith ruled that Group Lotus, which is behind the Renault team that is racing in the classic black and gold livery, can use the 'Lotus' name on its own on its cars. However, Team Lotus is also allowed to keep its name, but only with the 'Team' attached.

The decision would appear to have made no major changes to the current situation in terms of naming and car decoration in Formula 1, but both sides have claimed victory.

Team Lotus principle Tony Fernandes said in an official statement: "We are all pleased that it has been clarified that we are the rightful owners of Team Lotus. We have always been confident that the factual evidence we presented would lead to this decision and today's judgment confirms that belief."

However, Team Lotus is not allowed to produce road cars under the Lotus name. This will presumably not be a problem as the men behind the F1 team have recently bought the Surrey-based Caterham Cars and will focus their attention on this instead.

However, Group Lotus also claimed victory, as Sarah Price, head of legal, Group Lotus said: "Group Lotus is pleased that its right to race under the Lotus name in F1 has been upheld and that the Defendants' attempts to stop that have failed."

Needless to say, this is not the end of it all, as Group Lotus plans to appeal as it feels that two teams racing under the Lotus name will cause confusion for the F1 fans.

"Group Lotus is seeking leave to appeal so that the right to use the Lotus brand in Formula 1 is clarified once and for all in the interests of the sport and the fans. Group Lotus and its shareholder Proton Holding Bhd are confident of success on appeal," it said in an official statement.

Confused? You aren't the only one.