Proton, Group Lotus, 1Malaysia Racing Team, and its owner Tony Fernandes have today released a joint statement confirmed that the legal dispute relating to the Lotus and Team Lotus brands has now ended amicably.
The settlement deal sees the Lotus brand reunited under the sole ownership of Group Lotus, sponsors of the Lotus Renault GP team, and they now retain sole rights to the names Lotus and Team Lotus in Formula 1. The team will drop ‘Renault’ from their name next season, although they will continue to use Renault engines.
The 1Malaysia Racing Team, who race under the Team Lotus banner this season, will be known as Caterham F1 Team from 2012 onwards, and use a Caterham chassis and Renault engines.
The deal apparently also sees a working relationship established between the two parties, who may work together on future projects in the automotive field.
“On behalf of Group Lotus and Proton I would like to express how pleased we are that this matter is finally closed and we can now focus on looking forward to the future,” said Dany Bahar, Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer.
“We understand that this has been a very difficult and confusing time for the fans of the sport and the Lotus brand so we are glad to have reached a clear resolution on this important matter – I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their continued support, it means everything to us.”
Group CEO at 1Malaysia Racing Team / Caterham F1 Team, Riad Asmat, said that the team will be sorry to let go of their current name.
“We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to Formula One when many tried and although we are sad to say goodbye to Team Lotus we are excited about owning our own future and being in control of our own destiny,” he said. “Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain green and yellow.
“Now we look forward to an exciting future racing under our new team name of Caterham F1 Team. Please continue to support our very special spirit of never say die and support us on the track as we move up the field and demonstrate that the good do win.”