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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Lotus to race in black and gold in Formula 1 in 2011

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina, 12-14 NovemberPractice: Friday 12 November, 0855-1035 and 1255-1435, and Saturday 13 November 0955-1105, Red Button, online and 5 live sports extra
Qualifying: 1215-1420 on BBC One, Red Button, online and 5 live sports extra
Race: 1210-1515 on BBC One, Red Button, online and Radio 5 live sports extra

By Andrew Benson

Emerson Fittipaldi in a 1972 Lotus 72 at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix
Two-time champion Fittipaldi demonstrated a historic Lotus at the Brazilian GP

The Lotus team will race in a black and gold colour scheme next season in a move that echoes the changing face of the historic Team Lotus.

Lotus are racing in green and yellow in 2010, as Team Lotus did in the 1960s before adopting the black and gold of a cigarette sponsor in the 1970s.

A Lotus spokesman said: "We've been planning it for a while and it's something we're excited about."

Ironically, the team are expected to abandon the Lotus name next season.

They have been caught in a dispute with Malaysian car company Proton, which owns Lotus Cars, over the use of the name.

Lotus Racing's Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen explains car fire actions

Lotus Racing boss Tony Fernandes has bought the rights to use the historic Team Lotus name, but after an intervention by the Malaysian government is expected to back down from trying to use it in F1.

Lotus Cars will sponsor the Renault team next year, and they will almost certainly be called Lotus Renault, in the same way other teams' title sponsors are included in the official team name.

The Lotus Renault deal is expected to be announced in the course of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.


It has been speculated in F1 that Fernandes has pushed ahead with plans to use the black and gold colour scheme following the row over the ownership of the Lotus name because he knows it will anger Lotus Cars and Proton.

It is not yet known what the current Lotus Racing team will be called next year.

The Lotus spokesman added: "It's a natural evolution for us from green and yellow - and it's something Lotus fans around the world would respect."

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see also
Lotus confirm Renault engine deal
05 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus naming rights row deepens
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus branding blocked by Proton
11 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
F1 mourns former Lotus chief Warr
06 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus technical boss extends stay
29 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus agree Renault engine switch
13 Sep 10 |  Formula 1

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