Norfolk firm buys into Renault F1 team and will race under Lotus Renault GP from 2011
2 mins read
9 December 2010

Group Lotus will be back in Formula One in 2011 after Renault sold its last remaining stake in its team.

Renault sold a majority stake to Genii Capital last year and the sale of its remaining stake back to the private investment firm has allowed Group Lotus to buy into the team, with the Renault cars being re-branded Lotus Renault GP from 2011 and running with the iconic JPS black-and-gold livery.

The pair have entered into a “comprehensive strategic alliance”, according to an official statement.

See a rendering of the Lotus Renault GP livery for 2011

Renault will stay on as an engine supplier to teams including Red Bull and the team that carried the Lotus name this season. With 2010’s Lotus F1 team being officially entered as Team Lotus for 2011, this means there will be two Lotus Renault teams on the grid - although only one will have works support.

The Group Lotus deal will run until 2017 and Renault is believed to have signed up for a multi-year engine supply deal.

Several of the five new sports cars revealed by Lotus at the recent Paris motor show featured KERS technology, and it is believed that Lotus will bring this tech to the F1 team, along with knowledge of building aerodynamically efficient, lightweight cars. Group Lotus is keen for its F1 involvement to help the development of its road cars.

Read more on Group Lotus's ambitious motorsport plans

Some of Genii’s other investments - lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and on-board software systems – will also filter through to the Lotus road car range.

Genii says Lotus’s parent firm Proton will also be able to make use of “existing business relationships in Russia and other parts of the world, as a means to expand Proton's global reach”.

Proton chairman Dato' Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said: “We know that Group Lotus has much to offer Formula One and vice versa. After careful consideration, we believe this arrangement will be fruitful, both from a commercial and marketing point of view."

Renault's continued involvement in F1 will be under a new company, called Renault Sport F1. As well as supplying engines to three teams, Renault Sport F1 "will conduct advanced research studies with its partners, as well as engineering programmes in areas such as transmissions and KERS".

See all the latest Lotus reviews, news and video


Find an Autocar review

Join the debate


8 December 2010

So that won't be at all confusing, then.

8 December 2010

Without getting too Sniff Petrol on you ..... can I ask ...... what the flip?!?!?

So Team Lotus is Lotus of Norfolk and owned by Proton right?

And Group Lotus is another team that is nothing to do with Lotus of Norfolk but who bought the rights to the Lotus F1 team name from someone and so can race in the colours of the old Lotus of a bygone era which was actual Lotus of Norfolk.

That will be fun for commentators next season.

8 December 2010

[quote Liam F]So that won't be at all confusing, then[/quote]

Not at all ;-0

Especially as both teams want to pant the cars black & gold.


Whoever loses will have to hand over Colin Chapman's hat.

8 December 2010

[quote Cheltenhamshire]

So Team Lotus is Lotus of Norfolk and owned by Proton right?


Wrong. 'Team Lotus' aka 1Malaysia Racing is owned by Tony Fernandes. They licenced the name 'Lotus Racing' from Group Lotus for 2010 but are not owned by Proton. They bought the name Team Lotus from David Hunt (James Hunt's brother) and are completely separate from Group Lotus. They intend to call their cars Lotus-Renaults and paint them black and gold.

'Group Lotus' is the sports car company owned by Proton, who are now a title sponsor (not a constructor in their own right) of the Renault F1 team. They intend to call their cars Lotus-Renaults and paint them black and gold.

Neither team has any real connections to the original Team Lotus which we all knew and loved back in the day - the new Team Lotus is just cashing in on the name and Group Lotus is entering F1 in its own right as Group Lotus and Team Lotus were separated by Colin Chapman many years ago.


8 December 2010

wrong, group lotus is the car company owned by proton, renault has sold its remaining share in its f1 team to genii who then sold a share to group lotus making them co-owners rather than just sponsors. Renault now being engine suppliers to both the Lotus teams and red bull have rebranded their engine supply as Renaultsport so we could have Red Bull Renault(sport) Lotus Renault(sport) GP and either Team Lotus Renault(sport) or 1 Malaysia Racing UK Renault(sport) not sure if theyre using the whole renaultsport title in the name but team lotus really need to sort that name out

8 December 2010

For added confusion, the team currently known as Lotus Racing are still planning to change their name to Team Lotus, despite having a lot less association with Group Lotus than this "official" team AND they'll be running a black & gold livery and be powered by Renault engines! Confused!?

8 December 2010

Returning to just being an engine supplier is a good move by Renault, F1 cars are a complete irrelevance to road car manufacturers, whereas being an F1 engine supplier just about makes sense.

8 December 2010

Lots of confusing fun. Even sillier than the 2 Red Bull teams naming one of them in Italian, maybe Team Lotus should be rebranded in Malaysian

8 December 2010

[quote MattDB]maybe Team Lotus should be rebranded in Malaysian[/quote]

Pasukan Teratai F1 Racing Concern

8 December 2010

Ignoring all the comments about the ridiculousness of having 2 Lotus teams on the grid next year (which I totally agree with). Weren't Lotus complaining a few weeks ago that their business model didn't work? (Hence the shift upmarket and preview of a gazillion new models), surely running an F1 Team isn't the cheapest way to sort your business model.... Have they all gone completely barmy in Norfolk??


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review