There will be no name or livery change at Renault next season, despite the ambitions of Group Lotus to become more heavily involved in the sport over the next few seasons.
The Malaysian-owned brand is currently the team's title sponsor, adding a little confusion to the F1 grid as its Lotus Renault entry goes up against the Lotus-Renault of Team Lotus. The two teams have already endured a lengthy court battle over naming rights, in which both claimed victory, and have fallen out over the colours their cars would run in, after Team Lotus' Tony Fernandes accused Group Lotus of 'stealing' his idea of running in the iconic black-and-gold livery this season.
Despite Group Lotus' intention of moving from being merely a sponsor to take on at least co-ownership of the Renault team, however, CEO Dany Bahar insisted that the change would not happen overnight, and that there would be no name change next season. Luxembourg-based Genii Capital currently owns the team, and has inked a sponsorship deal with Lotus that runs until 2017.
"We enjoy a very good relationship with our partners Genii, we are very much involved in their business, we are happy with how it's run and, as things are run properly and [are] well managed, there is no reason for us to do any move," Bahar told reporters in London, "We are absolutely fine as it is."
The former Ferrari man admitted that changing the identity of the double world champion team would be something to be investigated in the future, but only if Group Lotus decided to up its involvement - and, even then, it could prove to be a thorny problem with Fernandes unlikely to add his signature to what would need to be unanimous approval for the change from rival teams.
"If we decide to go for the long-term [ownership], then a renaming would be an issue," he added, "But, at the moment, it's out of the question and it's not something we are pursuing. [It is] out of the question until 2013. I think you need consistency. We like the livery in the black and gold, we use it in many road car limited editions on our side [and] it's a nice livery that is perceived well by the people, so I see no reason why we should change it.
"The partnership is running very well and I hope it continues to be like that. It's about the branding of Lotus, about technology transfer. The naming issue is there, unfortunately, but it doesn't really impact."