Genii Capital Chairman and RenaultF1 majority shareholder Gerard Lopez has revealed that Group Lotus will be the title sponsor and a major shareholder in the rebranded Lotus Renault GP Team in 2011.The creation of Lotus Renault GP will put the team directly in competition with Team Lotus next year – leaving F1 with the bizarre scenario of having two black-and-gold Lotus Renault teams in 2011.Read the full news from Formula1.com below.
GROUP LOTUS TO BECOME RENAULT TITLE SPONSORS
The Renault team are set to become known as Lotus Renault GP next season after agreeing a title-sponsorship deal with Group Lotus that will run until 2017. Following the return of the Lotus name to Formula One in 2010, under licence from Group Lotus to Lotus Racing, the announcement marks the complete return of the British sportscar manufacturer to the sport, with the full backing of parent company Proton.
Group Lotus will also become major equity partners in the Renault team with current owners Genii Capital, as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies that will provide Group Lotus with significant technological and commercial opportunities for its range of road cars. Renault will continue to support the team as a supplier of engines and technological and engineering expertise.
“We are delighted that we can now go public with the news that we will be racing as Lotus Renault GP in 2011,” commented Gerard Lopez, Chairman of the Renault team. “It is extremely exciting to begin a new era for the team in partnership with Group Lotus, and we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with Renault over the coming seasons. It is a tribute to the excellent work this year by the team in Enstone that we have been able to attract both major sponsorship and new investment for a very bright future.”
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1 is the very pinnacle of open-wheel racing. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.”
The new partnership has been enabled by French car giant Renault selling its remaining shares in the team to Genii Capital. Group Lotus will subsequently become co-owner of the team with Genii Capital. They will continue to compete with the Renault chassis name and Renault will enjoy pre-eminent brand exposure on the car.
For 2011, the team plan to race in a new interpretation of the iconic black and gold colours that were last used when Lotus and Renault joined forces in the 1980s. This livery has been on the drawing board for over two months in order to reinterpret its iconic graphic signature to suit modern media requirements.
Lotus Racing, Tony Fernandes’ Malaysian-backed squad that returned the Lotus name to Formula One under license this season, will continue to compete next year, switching from Cosworth to Renault power. The 2011 championship entry list published by the FIA last week listed them under the team name of Team Lotus.
More news from Lotuscars below
GROUP LOTUS + RENAULT + GENII = LOTUS RENAULT GP
Lotus, the manufacturer, is back
Group Lotus plc and Genii Capital are pleased to announce a partnership which will see the Renault F1 Team renamed as ‘Lotus Renault GP’ from the start of the 2011 racing season onwards. The association heralds the return of a highly successful Formula 1™ association between Lotus and Renault from the 1980s. Lotus’ racing pedigree and heritage coupled with Renault’s technology in Formula 1™ will set the united team on a path to future success.
Group Lotus plc will acquire a major equity stake in the team from Genii Capital. The transaction represents a partnership between Group Lotus and Genii Capital and signifies the beginning of a more comprehensive strategic alliance between the two organisations.
The partnership between Lotus and Genii brings the ability to quickly incorporate new technologies from F1™ cars into Lotus road cars including hybrid technology, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), aero advancements and lightweight materials. Genii, an investment holding company with a portfolio of automotive technologies, bring non-F1™ technologies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and on board software systems to the partnership.
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1™. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1™ and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position: We are Lotus, and we are back.”
Dato’ Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, Chairman of Proton, Lotus majority shareholder, said: “We know that Group Lotus has much to offer Formula 1™ and vice versa. After careful consideration, we believe this arrangement will be fruitful, both from a commercial and marketing point of view.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Proton advisor and former Prime Minister of Malaysia, said: “This is an exciting development which delivers strategic benefits to both Group Lotus and Proton. I fully support the partnership.”
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, commented: “This multi-partner alliance will bring a new dynamic to the team and enable it to compete with the sport’s best from next season.”
In addition to this, Genii is also offering Proton the ability to leverage on its existing business relationships in Russia and other parts of the world, as a means to expand Proton’s global reach. Through Genii, Proton can also potentially access advanced automotive technologies by virtue of Genii’s association with Mangrove, a venture capital group.
Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital, said: “For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1™ opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. In this regard, Genii Capital possesses shareholdings in, and direct access to, cutting edge companies in the automotive industry. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step.”