SEPTEMBER 9, 2002
Lobbying for Lotus
The news that British American Racing is planning to rebrand itself has brought a few ideas out of the woodwork, notably from something called British Racing Green International which would like to see Team Lotus back in Formula 1. It is a nice idea but it is never going to happen. For a start the ownership of the Lotus name in racing is an issue in itself as David Hunt owns certain rights which he purchased back in 1994 just before Team Lotus went to the wall. At the same time Proton, the owner of Group Lotus, seems to be of the opinion that it has certain rights as well.
But even this is not the key issue. The fact is that British American Racing's rebranding plans are not about taking on a new identity but rather about focussing the team around a brand which will have some use to parent company British American Tobacco. There is no reason, even after a tobacco ban, why a cigarette company cannot own a racing team and cannot use the exposure of racing to build a brand for a completely different industry. Thus chasing after a name which was once famous which will promote businesses owned by others is not logical.
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