The FIA has formally allowed three F1 teams to change their chassis names for 2012 in a move that also signals the end of the bitter legal battle between Group Lotus and Team Lotus over the use of the famous name.
From next year the current Lotus chassis will be a Caterham, the Renault will be a Lotus, and the Virgin will be a Marussia.
After coming to an agreement with his former foes, Tony Fernandes has sold the Team Lotus name to Group Lotus. It has yet to be confirmed whether that name will be formally adopted as a team name by the outfit currently known as Lotus Renault GP. “I think we’ve done a good thing by bringing the name back,” said Fernandes. “And if we didn’t, who knows when it would have been brought back? So at least in retrospect it’s probably in the right place now with the cars, which was always my plan anyway, to bring it in with the cars.”
The Virgin change reflects the fact that Russian supercar maker Marussia is a major shareholder and investor in the team, although Virgin will remain as a sponsor.