Group Lotus relaxed over Renault name
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, December 15th 2010, 19:08 GMT|
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar says he is happy with his company just being a Formula 1 team sponsor and shareholder for now - and accepts people will call his Lotus-backed outfit 'Renault'.
Although Renault's F1 team has been rebranded as Lotus Renault because of the title sponsorship deal, the outfit has not designated its chassis as Lotus, which means it is still officially running Renault cars.
Speaking in London on Wednesday, Bahar made it clear his company was not pretending that the team was now wholly Lotus - and said he fully understood that people will continue to call it the Renault team.
"Yes I understand that and we are fully aware of this, and we were aware of this before we did this move," he said. "However, when we fully decide to enter into an activity of this size, it is a long-term agreement, a long-term activity for us. It is not about the next year or the next two years, it is something to establish, to give the sustainability to the whole company for the next 10 years.
"We are well aware that we cannot change the mechanisms that are in place today by changing the chassis name, because this would have a lot of negative consequences. We are fine being a sponsor at the moment, and we have to respect the fact that commentators will just use the name Renault. That is unfortunately as it is."
Bahar once again admitted that the future plans remain open, however, with the possibility of Lotus taking over full control in the next few years.
"I don't think it makes sense to enter just for two years with the sticker on the car without having a long-term plan for it and without having a heavy involvement," he said. "And having involvement is something that we are trying to maximise as much as possible from day one by setting up a group of engineers that are working in Enstone and trying to get technology transfer from F1 into our new road cars.
"This is all we can do in the short term, but it is a long term plan and the time will come when we will be in charge of doing the things the way Lotus was always doing."