Date: 6th June 2011 at 11:55am
Written by:

It doesn’t seem like a week goes by without Lotus being involved in some kind of legal wrangle.

This time though it’s just Group Lotus, the Renault team’s sponsors or more specifically their colour scheme which of course is the black and and gold scheme made famous in the 1980’s when Lotus were sponsored by tobacco company John Player Special.

With tobacco advertising banned, it was feared that despite John Player Special no longer being branded on the car, the colour scheme was so strongly linked to the company that Renault would have to change their livery for this weekends Grand Prix.

But Quebec officials have now accepted that the new Group Lotus livery was not connected with tobacco.

‘We’re delighted to be able to race in Montreal in our usual colour scheme,’ Renault Team boss Eric Boullier told Autosport Magazine.

‘The Quebec authorities noted that the current livery makes a reference to images from the 1980s when the car was sponsored by the tobacco industry, but it has also accepted the fact that Lotus Renault GP receives no direct or indirect financing from the industry in question. We would like to thank them for acknowledging our good faith.

‘We are fully aware of the stringent restrictions imposed by the law in Quebec on promotional associations with tobacco. As a result, we will use all means available to dispel any misconceptions that our identity and that of our partners is somehow associated with this industry.’


Vitaly Petrov is expected to return to his Renault (which obviously no longer has any connections with John Player Special as that would be really, really bad) this weekend.

The Russian crashed his Renault in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix and suffered a suspected broken leg in the incident. But these fears were quickly dispelled and within days the discomfort from his leg and ankle had gone.

‘Physically I’m feeling fine with no problems, I’m feeling better than I was after the race in Monaco. My ankle is fine and I don’t see any problems for the race here in Canada.’ said Petrov.