A Confused Brand
You’d be forgiven for thinking that now that Tony Fernades’ outfit is named Caterham, the issue of who is the real Lotus, is finally finished. Was it the team that actually owned the name or the team sponsored by a car company with the same name? It doesn’t matter anymore. We can relax, can’t we?
(Well, if you write for a blog that’s not quite true, as it’s an article tagging nightmare – forget cross-referencing as the list of tags at the bottom illustrates. However, enough of my problems.)
The point is you can’t relax. No sooner had that all been resolved than Lotus Group’s owner, Proton was itself bought. Moreover, the new owners are open to the idea of selling on Lotus. Whoever owns it in the near future, motorsport expenditure could be the first thing to be cut so where does that leave Lotus F1?
Still as Lotus F1 apparently. It seems the Lotus F1 teams ties with Lotus Group are still tenuous at best as, in the words of Genii’s Gerard Lopez: “We’ve decided to separate both issues just in case. Essentially the name is something that we want and we can carry over regardless”
“It’s an historic brand. We were never going to call it Genii F1 team or something like that,” explains Lopez. “Coming up with a new name was something that we could have done, but being able to associate yourself with an iconic brand, I think it’s good business practice and I think more than that it just makes a lot of sense.”
I suppose it’s refreshing to finally have some honesty instead of all those desperate pleas about ‘preserving the heritage’, wheeling out the Chapman family as exhibit A and a black and gold livery as the closing statement.
But, hey, why stop at grabbing one team’s history? You might think Lotus F1 have yet to actually race, certainly Wikipedia is of that opinion, but they’re enthusiastically looking forward to their 500th race in Spain in their 20th Enstone chassis. How’s that? Oh, they’re claiming the race starts of Toleman, Benetton and Renault while they’re at it. I suppose, really, they do have a claim to that heritage, more so that the black and gold livery, but can you imagine Mercedes ever claiming Honda and Tyrrell’s races as part of their history?
Whatever next? Go the whole hog and claim ten drivers’ championships and ten constructors’ crowns? Who was the greatest ever Lotus driver… Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso?
But seriously, having battled so hard for the iconic brand, why confuse the issue?
Credit: Lotus F1 Team