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Group Lotus happy with Renault's progress

ESPNF1 Staff
June 18, 2011 « Button up for championship fight | »
Lotus is Renault's title sponsor © Getty Images
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Group Lotus has no plans to ramp up or scale down its presence in the Renault Formula One team next year, but hasn't rule out increasing its ownership share in 2013.

Group Lotus joined Renault as a title sponsor at the end of last year, signing a seven-year title sponsorship agreement and taking part ownership of the team alongside Genii Capital. The move also brought about a battle over the use of the Lotus name with Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, which came to an end in the High Court last month with both teams allowed to carry on as they were.

But despite a turbulent first six months in the sport, which has also included two podiums at the first two races of the season, Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is happy with his current deal.

"Although the first two results made us a bit hungry for more success, the bottom line is that we have to be very happy with what the team has achieved," he was quoted by Reuters. "The partnership is running very well and I hope it continues to be like that. It's about the branding of Lotus, about technology transfer. The naming issue is there, unfortunately, but it doesn't really impact."

He ruled out any immediate move to increase Group Lotus's share until the end of next year.

"We are absolutely fine as it is," he said. "If we decide to go for the long-term [ownership] then a renaming would be an issue. But at the moment it's out of the question and it's not something we are pursuing. Out of the question until 2013."

As for the iconic black and gold livery, Bahar said it is here to stay despite all of Group Lotus's other motorsport ventures appearing in green and yellow.

"I think you need consistency," he said. "We like the livery in the black and gold, we use it in many road car limited editions on our side. It's a nice livery that is perceived well by the people, especially on the road car side, so I see no reason why we should change it."

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