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Team Lotus may stick with green and yellow livery

ESPNF1 Staff
December 9, 2010 « Shoulder injury not an issue, says Webber | »

Team Lotus may ditch its plans of reverting to the iconic black and gold livery for the 2011 season after RenaultF1 announced on Wednesday that Group Lotus had become the title sponsor and a major shareholder of the team.

Tony Fernandes' team recently announced it would abandon its green and yellow livery made famous by Colin Chapman's cars in favour of the black and gold of the JPS-sponsored cars driven by the likes of Ayrton Senna in the 80s.

But when RenaultF1 released pictures of its likely livery for 2010 on Wednesday, fans of Team Lotus urged the Malaysian outfit to simply stick with green and yellow. Technical director Mike Gascoyne's secretary even took a poll on the matter with 77% in favour of retaining the current colours.

"Seems pretty conclusive," said Gascoyne.

Fernandes went even further, accusing Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar of 'hijacking' his team's livery plans. "Looks like they [are] trying to hijack our black and gold idea," he said. "Funny, first meeting I had was in the Lotus room. Wonder if Dany is going to try and sponsor that."

But RenaultF1 majority shareholder and Genii Capital chairman Gerard Lopez denied that it was the case. "We always had the idea and then it leaked out through the press. "Three days later they [Team Lotus] were announcing they were doing black and gold. At the end of the day, I don't think there will be any confusion as to which cars will be which in terms of position on the track."

What Team Lotus will be called next season is a different matter entirely. The outfit insists it has the rights 'under licence' to use the Lotus name although the Proton owned Group Lotus have since revoked the license agreement.

Bahar added that Proton will be handling the legal side of the affair with Team Lotus chief executive Riad Asmat also acknowledging the case will indeed proceed to London's High Court.

"I think that will be fair to everyone and the courts will explain everything to everyone," Asmat told Bernama news agency.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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