A High Court ruling on the Lotus naming rights dispute is expected next week, with Germany’s Speed Week reporting that a verdict date has been earmarked for April 20.
The majority of the hearing – which centres over carmaker Group Lotus terminating its license with Lotus Racing and then getting into a sponsorship deal with Renault, while in turn Lotus Racing went a purchased the naming rights to call itself ‘Team Lotus – has remained under wraps, and the details will finally be known when the verdict is made.
Perhaps Sebastian Vettel is already privy to the outcome – or simply misguided? – when his mistakenly referred to third-placed Nick Heidfeld’s car as a “Lotus” during the post-race press conference and in a team release issued by Red Bull.
In truth, the only Lotus referred to by name in the F1 paddock is Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus, and aware of this, second-placed finisher Jenson Button wasn’t about to fall for the same trap as his race-winning counterpart, when he turned to Heidfeld in the press conference.
“What do we call you now?” he asked the Grand Prix veteran.
“Lotus Renault GP,” came the reply from the smiling German.
Meanwhile, Fernandes’ outfit enjoyed its most competitive showing to-date, running close to the lower midfield on raw pace – despite not being equipped with KERS – and Heikki Kovalainen finished under the rear wing of Jaime Alguersuari at the end of the 56-lap Malaysian Grand Prix.
“We are enormously proud of what we have achieved in just 18 months and we have done it through hard work and dedication, not by buying seemingly instant success through stickers on a car,” he added, with a not unexpected dig at Team Lotus.
At least the ruling might eliminate the constant bickering…
[Image via Vigilant Citizen]