Renault has revealed its definitive 2011 black-and-gold colour scheme, as it embarks on a new era with title sponsor Lotus.
Following the tie-up with the sports car manufacturer last year, amid plans for Lotus to become shareholders in the team, Renault is switching to the colors that were made famous by the British marque during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The scheme, which has been painted onto one of last year's Renault R30s, has been tweaked slightly from the version that was released by the team at the end of last year.
The public unveiling of the livery was made by Renault driver Vitaly Petrov at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show, in Birmingham, England. Renault's new 2011 car, the R31, will be launched in Valencia on Jan. 31 – the day before official preseason testing begins.
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has viewed his company's sponsorship of Renault this season as just the first step in a more serious F1 involvement in the next few years – which could include a total takeover of the team.
"We follow the same Lotus strategy we apply in every single motor racing activity we have decided to enter," he said. "We first of all, just act as a sponsor and maybe a shareholder, but we leave the things as they are today. They are good as they are today – Renault is an exceptional name, we keep the name as it is, and the chassis will be called a Renault.
"So we stay as it is for the next two years. And what the future brings, with maybe a new Concorde Agreement, we will see. But for the moment we act as a sponsor, we have the influence as a shareholder and this is good for us as it is."