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F1 Commission agrees to team name changes

ESPNF1 Staff
November 3, 2011 « Rossi to test with Lotus in Abu Dhabi | Coletti and Ceccon confirmed for Toro Rosso »
There will only be one Lotus on the grid in 2012 © Sutton Images
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Formula One's key stakeholders have agreed to requests from three teams to change their chassis names next season, bringing an end to a year-long row over the use of the Lotus name in F1.

According to reports, Team Lotus' cars will be known as Caterhams next season, Renault's cars will be called Lotuses and the Virgins will be renamed Marussias, after fellow F1 teams and other members of the F1 Commission agreed to the name changes at a meeting in Geneva.

While the origins of the Virgin name change are relatively straightforward (the team wanting to promote key investors Marussia over Richard Branson's Virgin brand), the row over the Lotus name has been dragging on since the end of last season.

After a bitter court battle, Team Lotus eventually maintained the right to use its historic name in Formula One, while car manufacturer Group Lotus, which was trying to prevent Team Lotus using the name, was also allowed to continue its sponsorship of Renault. However, Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has now decided to drop the name in favour of his recently-acquired Caterham car brand, thus ending the confusion of having two teams using the Lotus name on the F1 grid.

The name changes are expected to be ratified and confirmed at a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on December 7.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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