Lotus offering to change name back to Renault

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Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez has revealed that he would not be opposed to change the team's name, if that would prove necessary to attract investors into the team.

The Enstone based team has long been the works team of Renault, but when the French opted to continue in Formula One only as an engine supplier, the team effectively became a customer of Renault. After taking on Lotus sponsorship money, they renamed to Lotus Renault GP, before changing again to Lotus F1 Team one year later, resulting in a legal dispute with current Caterham chairman Tony Fernandes who then ran his team as Team Lotus.

When Lotus itself failed to bring in the necessary money, the team still opted to keep its name. However, after a short spell running in F1 as Lotus, Lopez now says he is willing to rename the team back to Renault, if the French company indeed wants to invest in the team.

"Ideally, we need to get the support of an automaker. It gives significant weight in the political arena of F1, and in the relations with investors and shareholders. I do believe in the concept of Renault having two teams they count on - Red Bull and us," he said to Auto Hebdo.

"I would not mind if the team has to change its name, it doesn’t matter whether it’s called Genii, Lotus, Renault or something else."

The team is already looking to an additional investor for quite a while, and they would surely welcome more involvement from Renault Sport F1, especially as Renault's recent tie ups with Red Bull Racing emphasize Lotus' current status as a mere customer of the French engine manufacturer.