The “Battle of the Lotuses” is the talk of the town, with Proton owned Group Lotus joining Formula 1 by buying over Renault’s shares in the Renault F1 Team. The team will be called Lotus-Renault, with Lotus being the title sponsor. Regarding the name, it’s much like what Vodafone or Petronas is to McLaren and Mercedes GP respectively; so happens that Lotus is a car manufacturer.

But GL’s ambitions are higher than just being a title sponsor and shareholder, although that’s the starting point. GL CEO Dany Bahar hints about taking full control of the team in the next few years. “Our way of doing things means that at the end of the project we would like to control it ourselves,” the former Ferrari employee told Autosport.

“It’s the same route – it starts somewhere and then you slowly take control. We would not be in for the long-term just to be a sponsor on the team,” he added.

Lotus is in the midst of a major renewal, and signaled their intent by wheeling out five concepts at the Paris Motor Show. They’ll need a lot of money to realise that future range of cars. Do they have enough for Formula 1? “We would not commit without backing from shareholders, banks and investors. If we didn’t it would be foolish to come up with ambitious plans like this,” Bahar assures.

There will be three “home teams” with Malaysian backing next season. Who will you support at Sepang? :)