Team Lotus claimed victory in the court dispute, but the Tony Fernandes-led outfit might have to change its name for 2012 and beyond.
That is the claim of Bernie Ecclestone, after the London High Court declared a complex verdict in the name dispute brought by Malaysian-owned British carmaker Group Lotus.
After the latter claimed victory, Team Lotus issued a second media statement clarifying that it can use “the Team Lotus name and roundel (logo) … in relation to formula one racing”.
But with Renault sponsor Group Lotus also cleared to continue deploying the famous name in F1, Ecclestone suggested that Team Lotus might have to undergo a slight identity switch next year.
His comments tie in with a reference by Team Lotus in its first press statement on Friday to “the Caterham Team Lotus umbrella”; a reference to Fernandes’ recent acquisition of the specialty British sports car maker.
Ecclestone told Blick: “Fernandes can keep the name Team Lotus. However, his cars may not be called Lotus.
“In the registration for the world championship, the team (name) comes first, then the car.
“Strictly speaking Fernandes would have to sign up as Team Lotus and something,” added the F1 chief executive to the Swiss newspaper.
© RIF | GMM