Lotus Renault GP team boss Eric Boullier says resolving the dispute over the Lotus name was a massive step for his team that will only help make it stronger.
After months of uncertainty, the naming row was settled earlier this month, with Renault becoming Lotus next year while Team Lotus will become Caterham. Boullier says his team will finally know what its proper identity is, which he reckons will translate into a huge boost for it.
"Massive, for many reasons," said Boullier when asked how important it was to sort the naming issue. "We have now a proper identity, we know who we are. We don't have stories about Lotus, Renault, Genii, and how many shares, options, etc. It is clear now.
"It is clear, many, many sponsors who we were talking with, and which were planned for discussions in 2011, suspended, or even rejected the discussions because of this team name issue, so we can now restart the discussions and I have to say; it is going in a very constructive way to make sure the future is done. The Lotus project is also much bigger, but something should be announced quite soon I hope and it is a nice way to secure our future with a new identity. It will change everything.
"So all the rumors, the financial, blah, blah, it is now two years that Genii is in charge of this team and we have more people than two years ago, so if we pay the bill after two years then that means we are committing and they can financially commit, but now the future is going to the next step. The Lotus brand, being the same family as Lotus Cars, is the same business model as Ferrari, the same business model as McLaren and it is completely legitimate to be in F1."
Boullier also believes his team has a more secure future thanks to the backing from Lotus and its parent company Proton.
"Lotus Cars today is clearly in a big ambitious restructuring plan, but to be part of the same family of the manufacturer above this, then it is clearly for us security," he added. "Lotus Cars is maybe much smaller than Renault, but it is part of another company that is big, and which can be even bigger if you consider the global picture. Proton is a state company, so that is different from Renault – it could be bigger.
"A car manufacturer like Renault decided to pull out and focus on the strategy of [being an] engine supplier. If you look at the grid now, apart from Mercedes you now have private small companies, Ferrari is not big, McLaren is not big, and the farther you go down the pit lane it is even smaller, so it makes sense to have a Lotus team on the grid which is the same business model as the others."