The Renault F1 team has taken the wraps off the 2011 livery scheme it will run as it Renault has unveiled its Lotus-sponsored livery at the Autosport International Motor Showheads into a new era with title sponsorship from carmaker Group Lotus.

The team is now switching its colour to a black-and-gold decal reminiscent of the livery made famous by the Lotus F1 team in the 1970s and 1980s. This has occurred in the wake of its tie-up with Lotus late last year, that saw the sports car manufacturer become a major shareholder in the F1 team.

The colour scheme has been showed off on a 2010 R30 showcar on the opening day of the Autosport International Motor Show, while the 2011 car – to be dubbed the R30 – will be unveiled on January 31, the day before pre-season testing gets underway.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is leading the charge to bring Lotus into greater prominence in motorsport circles, with the car maker stepping up its involvement in F1, as well as IndyCars and the GP2 feeder series. It is widely believed that Lotus will look to fulfil a complete takeover of the Renault F1 operation and eponymously rename the outfit in the future.

“We follow the same Lotus strategy we apply in every single motor racing activity we have decided to enter,” he said today.

“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.”

After Group Lotus withdrew the license to use its name from Tony Fernandes’ F1 operation at the end of 2009 – prompting Fernandes to privately buy the rights to use the ‘Team Lotus’ name himself – both parties have been involved in an ugly tit-for-tat exchange in the lead-up to the High Court hearing over who legitimately has the right to use the Lotus name.

[Original image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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