The F1 team currently known as Lotus announced on Friday it will be powered by Renault engines in 2011.
But a dark cloud has moved above the future identity of the Tony Fernandes-headed outfit, with the press release not mentioning the word ‘Lotus’ even a single time.
Rather, the team – locked in the naming dispute with the Proton-owned Group Lotus – said the new engine deal “is a clear sign of the strength of the Anglo-Malaysian team’s ambitions”.
And the official quotes attributed to bosses Fernandes, Mike Gascoyne and Riad Asmat all made reference to Lotus simply as “the team”.
At the same time, Red Bull announced that it has extended its engine deal with Renault for another two years, including additional branding on the energy drink owned team’s cars.
It is believed the French carmaker’s president Carlos Ghosn has travelled to Brazil for this weekend’s event, amid new rumours Renault is rethinking its commitment to F1.
Currently, it owns only a minor share of the Enstone based team that bears its name, having sold to Genii Capital at the end of last year.
© RIF | GMM