We already have an F1 team in the grid with Lotus in its name but here’s something new, apparently the REAL Lotus Cars is also making an entry into F1 via a tie-up with the current Renault team, as the French manufacturer continues its plans to scale down its involvement in the sport to perhaps being just an engine supplier.
Renault team boss Eric Boullier has confirmed ongoing talks with Lotus Cars, but he said that the team is also in talks with other potential sponsors. Most people are saying that Lotus Cars will likely become the title sponsor of the Renault team first, with a buy-over perhaps in the cards in the future.
The Renault team could just end up being called Lotus-Renault from next year onwards, which would pretty much be Dany Bahar’s dream come true, and if these plans were already on the table for quite some time now it would very much explain the problems that have come between Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing team and Lotus/Proton.
Renault will probably end up having its engines in both the “Lotus” teams on the grid. Interestingly, when news broke of the recent engine supply deal between Renault and Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing, the press releases from both companies do not mention the word Lotus at all – instead it is referred to as either 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Ltd or “Anglo-Malaysian team”, but perhaps this is something to do with the fact that the matter is still at court so they cannot use the name at the moment? The LR8 drink logo on the side of the Lotus Racing F1 car was also replaced by a question mark as seen in last weekend’s race.
Another interesting fact is that while all of this is happening at the exciting race track, in the real world where companies build 4-cylinder A to B vehicles for commute and not for racing, Lotus Cars’ owner Proton also seems to be cosying up with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Proton already uses a Renault 1.2 litre engine in the Proton Savvy, an enlarged Renault engine is also used in the Proton Satria Neo S2000 rally car, and most recently there have been rumors for the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s compact car platform and engine to be used to underpin an upcoming production car based on the Proton EMAS Concept.