The row between Group Lotus, Proton and the 1Malaysia Racing Team – currently known as Team Lotus – over the rights to use the Lotus name in F1 is officially over, with both parties having agreed settlement terms earlier this month.
Group Lotus and Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes had been at odds over the use of the Lotus name, with Fernandes granted a licence to run at Lotus Racing in 2010 before Group Lotus ended its deal with the Malaysian businessman.
Fernandes then bought the rights to the Team Lotus name from David Hunt, although Group Lotus objected to that move and there followed a legal battle in the courts to determine who held the rights to the Lotus name in F1.
With the parties agreeing terms to end the feud, and the FIA approving team name changes for 2011 that will Team Lotus rebranded as Caterham F1 Team, a joint statement confirmed that any arguments are now at an end.
Although final terms of the settlement remain confidential, the Team Lotus name will now be handed over to Group Lotus, giving it full usage of the Lotus name in F1.
“On behalf of Group Lotus and Proton I would like to express how pleased we are that this matter is finally closed and we can now focus on looking forward to the future,” Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said.
“We understand that this has been a very difficult and confusing time for the fans of the sport and the Lotus brand so we are glad to have reached a clear resolution on this important matter – I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their continued support, it means everything to us.”
Riad Asmat, CEO for the 1Malaysia Racing Team, said the team would now seek to make its own history in F1 having taken the Lotus name back into the sport.
"We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to Formula One when many tried and although we are sad to say goodbye to Team Lotus we are excited about owning our own future and being in control of our own destiny,” he said. “Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain green and yellow.
"Now we look forward to an exciting future racing under our new team name of Caterham F1 Team. Please continue to support our very special spirit of never say die and support us on the track as we move up the field and demonstrate that the good do win."