The continued evolution of Lotus Racing will see the iconic name revert to equally iconic colours for its second season - but fans will be given a chance to suggest how the 2011 livery will look.

On the eve of the second Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the team - which may or may not be known as Team Lotus next year - has announced plans to run a black-and-gold colour scheme reminiscent of the famous John Player Special cars of the 1970s and '80s. The decision also has echoes of the past, as the original Lotus team also progressed from the green-and-yellow adaptation of British racing colours to run the black-and-gold, albeit via the Gold Leaf backing that kick-started commercial sponsorship in F1.

However, in an exciting twist for Lotus fans, the team will open the design process to include suggestions from outside the company.

"We have worked all year to make sure our fans are given unprecedented access to our team," head of marketing Silvi Schaumloeffel explained, "We are all very excited about the move to a black-and-gold paint scheme for next season, and we want our fans to help us design the livery that will be racing around the world.

"We will shortly be announcing exactly how the fans can take part in our design process, so keep an eye on our website for more details. The person who designs the livery we finally choose will be joining us at our first test next year to see the car out on track for the very first time, so for Lotus and F1 fans it is the chance of a lifetime to help us take the next step forward in our amazing story in 2011."

Lotus Racing CEO Riad Asmat added that he expected the return of the iconic colours to be as warmly welcomed as the original green-and-yellow livery used on this year's T127.

"When we first unveiled our 2010 car, there was unanimous praise for our decision to bring the historic green-and-yellow livery back to the modern F1 grid, but I know the return to the track of the legendary black-and-gold will be met with even more universal support as it strikes such an emotional chord with fans around the world," he reasoned.

"Giving those fans the chance to help us bring it back to the contemporary grid is true to our core belief of putting our supporters right at the heart of Lotus Racing - we can't wait to show the world what we come up with!"