Team Lotus?


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
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Now this post comes with a health warning. Be advised that once it has been read by our beloved site founder there is very real chance that there will be a loud explosion emanating from the London area. As we know he works his fingers to the bone after each race weekend to ensure that all the relevant data is compiled in the Database and the stats are available from the get go. Its frustrating work and this isn't going to make things any easier for him. So, tin hats on chaps and read on.

FB posted a link to this BBC article talking about a potential switch by Lotus to using Renault power from next season. What I didn't see at the time was these paragraphs at the bottom of the page. It would seem that soon (from next season I would presume) 1Malaysia Racing aka Lotus F1 Racing will be known as Team Lotus and I guess with that, will run the traditional branding of that company.

Perhaps the most interesting paragraph was the lines concerning the F1 Authorities treating the team as a continuation of the former one and earning money on the basis of Team Lotus's historic results (what we know as "The Ferrari Principle"). Now if that's true that would explain why Lotus Racing were celebrating their 500th race in Valencia. I know there are a lot of people who see the new team as an imposter and would have preferred to have let the name rest where it finished. So short of moving back into Hethal or Ketteringham Hall, can this team be considered to be the real deal again?

The new Malaysian-backed team brought the Lotus name back into F1 for the first time since 1994, when Team Lotus collapsed because of financial reasons.

The new team is called Lotus Racing but BBC Sport understands they are close to finalising a deal with the owners of the Team Lotus brand to reinstate the historic name.

The new Lotus team is already being treated by F1 authorities as a continuation of the former one, which was set up by the legendary Colin Chapman, earning prize and appearance money on the basis of Team Lotus's historic results.
It's interesting because the F1 site considers the current Lotus Racing to be a continuation of the original Team Lotus.
Yet Wikipedia and other sites, including us, don't.

I recall there was a discussion about Lotus, Mercedes and Sauber around the start of the season so I'll see if I can dig it up.

The good news from a database point of view is it will require just 1 or 2 small changes to make the switch, so not such a big deal :D

Edit: Here it is: 1st or 80th?

Either way it would seem we need to reopen the debate and reach a consensus.
The thing that bugs me is searches, if someone searched on lotus in our data in the future, do you have both Lotus F1 and Team Lotus come, or just Lotus? Even if it is considered the same team it can still cause some foibles.

I've seen examples of data on the official F1 website and have a full appreciation of the fact that they don't seem to care much for accuracy, but for those of us who do, all these shenanigans can be quite annoying.
I may be being a little naive here but what the fudge do historical results have to do with what a team gets paid by FOM? Oh, hang on, Ferrari have been in F1 the longest haven't they. Right, nuff said :givemestrength:
If New Lotus is considered for purposes of finance to be an extension of the original Team Lotus then that isn't exactly fair on some of the other teams.

If this is the case then what's to stop Virgin tracking down the rights holders of the Brabham name and purchasing that. Would that then mean that new Brabham would be paid as a team that made it's world championship debut in the mid 60s?
Well as we know, BMW Sauber weren't able to drop the BMW this season due to contractual and financial issues.
If they had done so then they would have forfeited all the monies forthcoming from the previous BMW Sauber's involvement in the 2009 season.

However, they have been permitted to change it for next season when they will once again be known simply as Sauber. So does that mean their prize money will change?
I think I might establish a new Alfa Romeo F1 team, called something like 'Team Alfa Romeo SpA Racing' or something similar. I have a chassis and an engine already; my trusty old '97 GTV 2.0TS. Just need to add some wings and a turbo, get a decent young driver (I think Senna might be available soon) and I think I could get close to the back of the Loti. Could I claim Farina and Fangio as being amongst my team's former champion drivers? And do you think Bernie might give me loads of dosh to help with my start-up costs?
Well the Concorde Agreement must have changed a lot since my day. At one time you could change your chassis name to a name that had been previously used in the championship (e.g. Sauber) without forfeiting your benefits, and even if it was a completely new name, you could do it so long as the FIA agreed.

I'm not sure that's got us anywhere!

I suppose one wonders whether McLaren should be counted from 1966 or 1980? There was very little carry-over from the old team to Project 4. Different owners, different factory - load of new staff.

And teams shouldn't be paid based on history anyway. F1 is supposed to be about today and tomorrow - Ferrari must be making thousands of times more money on Ascari's titles now than they did at the time!
It really is a strange situation and one that really risks the legacy of a lot of great teams if this is the way that the powers that be are going to go.

At the time of entry it was never made clear if Mike Gascgoyne had acquired the rights to the Team Lotus name and it would appear that he didn't. Since then, it would seem that all the parties concerned can see the benefit of working together hence the use of the Team Lotus name.

It's been over 20 years since Lotus Cars has been this involved in racing outside of supporting their own series such as the Elise cup. The recent tie up with KV Racing in the IRL series is further proof that Lotus and their owners see a renewed benefit in returning the name to motorsport. I just wish that Lotus F1 racing had re-joined the series as Team Lotus in the first place since they supposedly had the support of Group Lotus and the Chapman family.
I don't see why any team should be entitled to more money because of their history. Have a standard deal for all teams and relatively small finishing bonuses.

Why, for example, are Virgin not entitled to more money, if history comes down to it? Virgin, aka Manor Motorsport, have plenty of history. They've contributed an awful lot to motorsport as a whole, surely they are just as deserving as other teams with more illustrious histories?

And besides, it's not like Ferrari have always been more successful than anyone else. They've had their lean times, just like Lotus had their lean times.

What's to stop now someone bringing back the Brabham name, or Lola, or any name with any prestige, and demanding more money because they have a successful or developed history?

I don't see the logic in it at all.

Lotus aren't Lotus. They're a different Lotus, a likable Lotus, but they're not Lotus.
i dont have a problem with Lotus using the old Lotus name.

I do have a problem with them being treated as the "old" team, when they clearly arent. I also dont see why teams who have been part of F1 for some time should recieve any favourable financial returns for their commitment. As someone else mentioned, it should all be based on WCC position, nothing else. In my view, it simply places yet another barrier for newer teams to join/flourish.

The terminology they use to describe teams has annoyed me for several years, the worst was last year with the constant "brawn are a brand new team" c**p that got bandied about all season. At the end of the day, the Brawn team had honda millions and the team simply had a name change. prior to that it was arrows-midland-spyker-torro rosso (i may be wrong on that, but i do recall one team changing hands roughly every year for a few years), and other annoyances such as stewartford to jaguar. with regard to these name changes, i dont think that, for example, jag should be credited with stewarts points/record, jag should start from zero, but the terminology of the media (and teams) of "brand new team" really annoys me.

Prior to this year, imo the only team that was actually a new team was toyota (i may be missing someone else, but cant recall).

Anyway, gone way off topic, but a big NO NO from me, teams should be financially rewarded only for their performance in any given year, not by how long theyve been in the sport.
Personally, I think the same principle should be applied to the drivers--that way, Bruno SENNA would be the highest paid driver on the grid! LOL
TK421W said:
prior to that it was arrows-midland-spyker-torro rosso.
It was Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India.

But the essential point of your article is correct.

I believe I've posted it enough times on this forum within the last couple of weeks that most know what my opinion is.
Here, for what it's worth and with profuse apolgies for any errors and/or omissions, is a run-down as I see it of all the current teams and their origins, in order of when the founding teams were established starting (naturally enough) with the earliest:

1939-present: Ferrari
1958-1994: Team Lotus
1958-present: Tyrrell-BAR-Honda-Brawn-Mercedes
1963-present: Mclaren
1977-1985: Renault
1977-present: Williams Grand Prix Engineering
1979-present: Minardi-Toro Rosso
1981-present: Toleman-Benetton-Renault
1991-present: Jordan-Midland-Spyker-Force India
1993-present: Sauber-Sauber Mercedes-BMW Sauber-Sauber
1996-present: Stewart Ford-Jaguar-Red Bull
2010-present: Manor-Virgin
2010-present: Campos Meta 1-Hispania Racing Team (HRT)
2010-present: Lotus Racing

I know I've contradicted myself somewhat, as Team Lotus officially died in 1994, so are not strictly speaking a 'current' team unless you accept that the new team has a genuine claim to the lineage, even after a sixteen year gap and with no real Lotus DNA.

And Renault pulled out in 1985 but re-entered by taking over Benetton in 2000, racing again under the Renault name in 2002. But at least it was the same Renault company in 2000 as 1977, so there is a more genuine link there I believe; whereas Team Lotus actually ceased to exist, Renault simply withdrew from F1 then rejoined later.

Some may argue about Mclaren's merger with Dennis's Project Four Racing in 1981, but the team itself continued to operate without a break, so I have assumed that it was stilll effectivelty one team, making them one of the oldest surviving teams.

Tyrrell (now Mercedes), although the team was founded in '58, didn't race in F1 under their own name until 1971, so you could say that Mclaren are the second oldest current team to Ferrari.

Note: spelling now corrected, see my next post
If someone prods me later, I'll pull out all the relevant data from the database for the above teams to see how it compares.

We spent a long time getting that right so hopefully it's bang on.
Are we sure that Lotus are actually gaining more money from the FoM, based on their historic results?

I'm not so sure, I think that using the name obviously has some financial incentives, but these are more a long the lines of the ease of attracting sponsors etc., rather than 'pulling a Ferrari'

I have absolutely no problem with them using the Lotus name, they have the blessing of the Lotus family, Proton are a partner, the current owners of Lotus cars. I think that Tony Fernandes really does seem to have some petrol in his blood, and really enjoys his racing.

Mike Gasgoyne was an inspired choice as as TP as well.
Sauber, Stewart and Manor all grew out of existing racing teams (sportscars, F3 and F3 respectively) that had longer histories than the F1 team.

The Tyrrell/BAR change always makes me uncomfortable. BAT bought Tyrrell's entry, but that was all - they built a new factory in Brackley, got Reynard to design their cars; there were very, very few Tyrrell staff that transferred to the new team as well. But I suppose you've got to have a system.
Galahad said:
The Tyrrell/BAR change always makes me uncomfortable. BAT bought Tyrrell's entry, but that was all - they built a new factory in Brackley, got Reynard to design their cars; there were very, very few Tyrrell staff that transferred to the new team as well. But I suppose you've got to have a system.

Thanks for that Galahad, I didn't know that. As someone who always loved the blue 'Elf' Tyrrells, especially with Sir Jackie at the wheel, and never being a big fan of BAT/BAR, I am quite happy to think of Tyrrell Racing as existing from 1958 to 1998 and BAR being a new team.

Actually, as I've also just found out that most of Tyrrell's cars and equipment were actually sold to Paul Stoddart, perhaps Minardi had a better claim to the Tyrrell succession than BAR. I quite like that idea too.
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