The Lotus F1 Team will race as Team Lotus, as the original F1 outfit was known, in 2011 after team boss Tony Fernandes purchased the rights to the “brings a tear to your eye if you’re 40 years or older” name.
The BBC is breaking the news today:
Fernandes has been keen to stress the links between his new team and the historic Lotus, which was founded by Colin Chapman and won a series of six drivers’ titles and seven constructors’ championships through the 1960s and ’70s.
The rights to the Team Lotus name were bought by businessman David Hunt – brother of 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt – following the outfit’s collapse in 1994.
Fernandes, 46, has now bought the rights from Hunt and will enter his team, backed by a consortium of Malaysian businessmen, under that name next year.
“The whole ownership structures of Lotus are very complicated, but we’ve unravelled them,” Fernandes told BBC Sport.
“We want to own our own future and not license it from someone else. The future of Lotus Racing and Team Lotus is very secure and it is now in our hands.”
A few quick thoughts:
1. The team must be doing OK financially if Fernandes can throw money into something that isn’t quite vital to its survival. I’d assume they expect that running under the old name will lure a few more advertisers, too, so that could help offset the outlay.
2. Does it matter? I’m not sure. It’s a great tip of the hat to the old team, but we all know this version is financed out of Malaysia and, while there are loose ties, it isn’t the Lotus of old.
But, here’s the cool part: “The cars will sport the famous Team Lotus badge, bearing Chapman’s initials, ACBC (for Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman).”
Great for nostalgia, but I still wonder if the purchase will be worth the price. Does it make any of you any more excited about the team?