Ever since the irascible CEO of Group Lotus Danny Bahar decided to sponsor the Genii capital run Renault team and brand it Lotus Renault, things have been bad between the Tony Fernandes run F1 team which started life as Lotus F1 Racing team but for 2011 converted to Team Lotus basically to protect itself from the Group Lotus attack and the Group Lotus. The legacy of the great Colin Chapman who was the creative force behind the name Lotus has been a dispute between Group Lotus and Team Lotus for all of 2011. Group Lotus believed that there was no place for Team Lotus since the team had nothing to do with Colin Chapman but Group Lotus was still manufacturing cars under the Lotus name and enjoyed the support of the Chapman family. Unfortunately, Colin Chapman himself sold the rights of the F1 team which he called Team Lotus to F1 driver James Hunt from whose brother Tony Fernandes purchased the rights to the Team Lotus moniker.
The matter went to court last year and the judgement taking all things into consideration simply said Group Lotus and Team Lotus were two different roundels and that both could use the name. While legally this may have been possible, there was all kinds of confusion with both Lotus teams using Renault engines and therefore were Lotus Renault. To make matters worse Tony Fernandes continued to use the traditional green and yellow of Lotus while Danny Bahar chose the black and gold combination that was used when Lotus was sponsored by the John Player Special brand of cigarettes. Behind the scene confabulations and presumably transfer of monies led to Tony Fernandes relinquishing the Lotus name for 2012 and using Caterham instead since he had bought the Caterham car company that still made iterations of the original Lotus7 sports cars. But for all those who thought that the matter was resolved there were some rude shocks.
Group Lotus is owned by the Malaysian Car maker Proton and the news came that Proton was putting Group Lotus for sale. There were rumours that Gerard Lopez the owner of Genii Capital would buy up Group Lotus but instead of that Proton itself along with Group Lotus was bought over by the Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM. Tony Fernandes and Caterham Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne immediately tweeted that Danny Bahar was out of his job and that Group Lotus is going under administration and that Lotus will not longer be a part of the F1 grid. This led to the Group Lotus swinging into action saying that while the purchase of Proton was true everything else was untrue and that Lotus remained committed to F1 upto 2017 and that Mike Gascoyne had gone missing searching for the points that he promised to Caterham. All in all a messy affair and do not be surprised if the name Lotus disappear from the F1 grid much before 2017.