This author has always been a Team Lotus fan, all the way back to Jim Clark and Colin Chapman in the 1960s and 70s. Yet Formula 1 in 2011 has debuted with two F1 teams named “Lotus.” One of them, descended from Renault (and prior thereto Benetton) is actually using the black and gold livery of the famous, revolutionary John Player Special “ground effects” Lotus 78 chassis driven to a commanding Formula 1 championship by Mario Andretti in 1978.
This is a confusing and silly situation. Even as a long-time F1 enthusiast, I was astounded to see the “Lotus” branding on the rear wing of the Renaults in Melbourne and, for the life of me, could not figure out how this has occurred. Here’s the story; click through to read the whole, sordid details.
There are two teams calling themselves Lotus — Lotus Renault F1 and Team Lotus. How did it happen? It is a long and complex story. . . . Sound stupid? It is. The argument between the two Lotuses is currently before the high court in the UK. It is a complex case with each making claim and counter claim against each other.