The F1 paddock is alive with rumours that Renault may be bought by Proton and re-launched as Team Lotus, putting them against the existing Lotus Racing team next season. However, many Formula 1 experts believe this double Lotus confusion could be just the tip of a very Lotusy re-branding iceberg.
It seems certain that Williams will reap the benefits of a new specific software-related sponsorship deal with a division of IBM, a deal which is likely to be almost as valuable as McLaren’s soon-to-be-announced partnership with the new American arm of Poland’s national airline and Force India’s expected link-up with international logistics giant, the Laramie Organization, based at Arizona’s Tucson airport.
Meanwhile, Sauber are hotly tipped to announce a major sponsorship deal for 2011 which will involve the promotion of a new Lotu roadster from Chinese company Hzi-jen, and in particular the high powered version of this car, whilst it seems likely that Mercedes’ key sponsor for next year will be haulage giant Logistik oder Transport, based just around the corner from Daimler-Benz HQ in Untertürkheim, Stuttgart. Not to be left out, Torro Rosso is believed to be on the verge of signing a major title deal with Italian food conglomerate Latteria Orvieto Toscana e Umbria SpA whilst sister team Red Bull may be used to promote the reduced sugar version of the company’s new Taurine Ultra Shake energy beverage.
If these deals work out as planned Williams Lotus, McLaren LOT US, Force India LO (TUS), Sauber Lotu S, Mercedes LoT US, Torro Rosso LOTUS and Red Bull Lo TUS will join Team Lotus and Lotus Racing on the grid for 2011.
‘Shit,’ said Tony Fernandes, yesterday.