Litespeed, the Norfolk-based Formula 3 squad, will be racing in F1 next year under the name Lotus. Founders Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington, both former Lotus engineers, have received permission from Lotus name rights-holder David Hunt to use the historic marque title in 2010.
“Team Lotus is synonymous with great British engineering and F1 innovation, such as the Lotus 25 being the first monocoque chassis in F1 and the introduction of groundbreaking sponsorship, both of which easily demonstrate why ex-Lotus personnel would want to bring this championship-winning name back to the formula,” said Judge.
“Litespeed was born from a similar British background – a factor that was at the core of Colin Chapman’s beliefs and subsequent success.
“David Hunt has been the custodian of the name for so many years and we thank him for entrusting us not just with its safeguard but, more importantly, its development in the racing world of tomorrow.”
I can appreciate the nod to former glory in F1’s sterling history. It was announced this week that Brabham would be another name resurrected for next year as well. The issue I have is the novelty of it. I loved these marque’s and while Max’s budget cap as brought teams clamoring from the weeds to join the series; it remains unseen just how competitive they will be and how long they can afford to last in the series. Sure, that could be said of Lotus, Lola and Brabham back in their halcyon days but that is different. I think I would much rather be looking at a team in 20 years called Litespeed who came in tot he sport and remained strong, competitive and resourceful instead of having a name like Lotus spoiled should Litespeed not be able to cut the mustard.
I’m splitting hairs here but look at it this way. Max or Bernie must be behind this pull-out-a-historic-name bit because if they are to tell Ferrari, McLaren and Renault to get lost; they need some top-rate F1 names to fill the gap. Who can argue with a grid chock-a-block with Lotus, Lola, Brabham, Aston Martin and Williams? Maybe it’s just me and I am being too nostalgic but after spending some time with a local Lotus owners club, I can’t imagine them getting excited about the team as it contains to former engineers. I could be wrong. I also hate to see these names dragged through the political mess that Max has created. This isn’t really Lotus or Brabham. So why tarnish the name if you suck? These two brands lived and died on their own merit. They don’t need a political war to stage a revival for posterity’s sake. Wonder if Clive will have the same reaction as David Brabham did?