Group Lotus, Proton and the current Team Lotus Formula 1 team have announced that their legal dispute over the rights to use the Lotus brand in F1 is officially over, following confirmation that Tony Fernandes' squad can become Caterham next year and Group Lotus can re-brand the present Renault team as Lotus.
The Proton-owned Lotus car company and Fernandes' F1 team have been at odds over the Lotus name since late in 2010, even taking the matter to court. But in a joint statement from Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar and Riad Asmat, group CEO of Fernandes' 1Malaysia Racing Team, both sides declared the row is now fully resolved following approval of the two teams' name changes, and expressed their satisfaction at the outcome.
"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," said Bahar. "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."
Asmat said his team had accepted that relinquishing its claim on the Lotus title was the right course of action to take. He added that the squad's green and yellow color scheme would remain as it became Caterham from the start of 2012.
"We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to Formula 1, 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," said Asmat. "Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain green and yellow.
"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."