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Lotus Renault GP kicks off 2011 Sepang F1 promotions

By Rigval on 13 Mar 2011

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It seems the pre-F1 promotion has begun in Kuala Lumpur with the people at Lotus-Renault GP showing off their Lotus Renault R31 Formula 1 car at the Pavillion Shopping Mall over there recently. There was only the car, an LCD Screen stating some facts and the stand on which the car sits. This is a prelude of the F1 promotions and Lotus Renault are starting it off in line with the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix which is set for the 8th, 9th and 10th of April 2011.

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The Lotus Renault R31 on display must have been the car they used for its official unveiling as it is different from the car that is currently on the official website. This car has a smaller nose cone and some of the rear wing slats are missing. It is pretty obvious as in F1, everything moves ridiculously fast and week after week of wind tunnel testing would result in aerodynamic improvement that changes the design of the car.

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The 2011 season will be the team's inaugural season after the Renault GP team was bought over by Lotus. Since Proton owns Lotus, the Malaysian company seems to feel that the Sepang F1 is the 'home' race for Lotus Renault GP. Hence the very early start in promotions.

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Now note that PETRONAS, the Malaysian oil & gas giant also feels that since they are the main sponsors of the Mercedes GP Petronas team, they will surely ramp up promotion and events over at the Petronas Twin Towers soon. Last year, it was like a carnival there, with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg driving their cars as well as giving interviews then.

And we also have to add that little fact that the previous Lotus sanctioned team Team Lotus will also think of Sepang as its home race too. Formerly Lotus Racing and also referred to by the company name 1Malaysia F1 Team by the Malaysian media and parliament is a Formula One team, which made its debut in the 2010 F1 season. The team was set up by a group of Malaysian businessmen, using a licence from Lotus Cars owner Proton to use the Lotus name in Formula One.

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After having that licence terminated for further seasons, the team will use the historic Team Lotus name in the 2011 season,but are now facing legal action from Group Lotus and parent company Proton over the use of the Lotus name. On 24 January 2011, a judge at the High Court of Justice in London set a trial date over the naming dispute for 21 March, which means that two teams – Team Lotus and the Group Lotus-sponsored Lotus Renault GP – will begin the 2011 season with Lotus signage. Team Lotus will use the same color scheme as 2010 – green and yellow while the newly formed Lotus Renault GP will use the black and gold scheme used by Lotus when they were sponsored by JPS in the 1970s.

I hope this fracas will be resolved soon, but in my opinion, I don't really care who wins as this is part and parcel of the F1. Like WWE wrestling, it is entertainment.

So there you have it. Three teams will consider the Sepang F1 as their 'home' race regardless of the fact that all of them are actually based in the UK/Europe. What I know is that the pre-race promotions will be pretty fabulous because of this.

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2011 Formula 1, 2011 F1 and 6 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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