F1 News: Team Lotus to switch back to green and gold for 2011

By Gareth Llewellyn

lotus racing

The Sport Review’s round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1.

Team Lotus have scrapped plans to race in Lotus’ iconic John Player Special black and gold colours after the newly Lotus-backed Renault team revealed they would sport the same livery.

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes said: “Whether they copied us or we copied them that’s beside the point now. The point is what makes sense. Having two Lotus brands on the grid is no issue. Four black cars looking the same is silly and one has to relent.”

Team Lotus will now race in a variation of the green and gold used in the 2010 season – the colours also used by the original Team Lotus in the 1960s.

The FIA has announced that F1 teams will no longer be punished for deploying team orders, but could still be penalised for bringing the sport into disrepute.

Ferrari were found guilty of using team orders in the German Grand Prix in June when they asked Felipe Massa to move over to gift Fernando Alonso the lead.

Former F1 team boss Tom Walkinshaw has died at the age of 64 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Walkinshaw was a passionate racer with a 20-year career spanning Formula Ford, Formula Three Formula 5000, Formula Two, and BTCC, before moving into team management.

Hispania Racing have denied reports that owner Jose Ramón Carabante has put the team up for sale as he struggles to fund its 2011 campaign.

“The team is not on sale, we are working for 2011,” a spokesman said. “Carabante is working on getting sponsors and investors. One Spanish group is interested in joining the team but things are not so easy nowadays in the world.”

Volkswagen have revealed that the new engine rules due to enter F1 in 2013 will make the sport more attractive to them. The German manufacturer, which boasts Porsche and Audi, among other well-known road car producers as subsidiaries, has hinted at the possibility of entering the sport if the conditions were right.

“We welcome the decision,” said VW’s Hans-Joachim Stuck. “It is not only great news for F1, but for the whole of motorsport, as it takes the sport in the right direction environmentally.

“Of course, we have not decided anything, but the conditions for Volkswagen to possibly enter the category have now been created. The engine rules are a good starting point.”

And finally…

Sir Richard Branson will serve as a flight attendant on a special AirAsia charity flight from London to Kuala Lumpur in February next year after losing a bet with Tony Fernandes.

The entrepreneurs agreed they would serve on the other’s airline if their team finished behind in the world championship – an honour that fell to Branson after his Virgin Racing outfit finished behind Lotus Racing.

An auction will be set up for tickets for the 12-hour “party flight” with the money raised going to charity.

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