Formula 1 team principals have approved the name change requests that were put forward at today's F1 Commission meeting in Geneva, bringing an end to the long-running dispute over the Lotus moniker.
Following a lengthy meeting in Geneva on Thursday, sources confirmed that Team Lotus, Lotus Renault GP and Marussia Virgin Racing all received the necessary support to be allowed to change their titles for the start of next season. This means for 2012, Team Lotus will become known as Caterham, Renault will switch to Lotus and Virgin will be known simply as Marussia.
The changes still need to go through the FIA's World Motor Sport Council before becoming official, but this is believed to be a formality, especially because FIA president Jean Todt is a member of the F1 Commission. No public statements about the matter are expected from any of the teams involved until after the WMSC meeting, which takes place on Dec. 7.
The decision to approve the name changes means that confusion over the Lotus name in F1 will be brought to an end, following a long-running dispute between Team Lotus and the road car company Group Lotus. In a bid to clean up the matter after lengthy court proceedings, an agreement was reached which means that the former Renault works team will now be the only squad running the Lotus name.
Team Lotus will make full use of the Caterham brand, less than one year after the team's owner Tony Fernandes bought the sports car manufacturer.
Marussia takes the name of the Russian specialist sports car manufacturer that bought into the Virgin Racing team last year. Richard Branson's Virgin brand is expected to remain involved with the team in a reduced capacity.