Your more then likely sitting there, really confused and thinking I am a fool, but no, I am no fool.
What has happened is that Proton, who acquired Lotus Racing in 2010, has also acquired Renault F1; thus making Lotus-Renault F1. As of this morning, Tony Fernandes, the owner of Asia Airlines, with his limitless pocketbook and resources, decided it would be a wise choice to have two Lotus F1 teams, regardless of Lotus' rich racing history.
If you're more confused then ever, this might help.
If you're still confused beyond all belief here is a brief history of Lotus' Formula One Involvement:
Lotus Engineering began in 1952 under the ownership of Colin Chapman. This is the company that everyone knows for making sports cars. Following Chapman's death in 1982, Lotus was sold to General Motors. Then in 1993, GM sold Lotus to Romano Artioli, a Italian rich-dude. Three years later, Artioli sold it to the Malaysian auto-manufacturer: Proton.
The Formula One team had its beginnings somewhere in 1954. This is the same team that subsequently won all those 7 constructors championships between 1963 and 1978. Same company that had the awesome type 72 (arguably one of the most successful cars in Formula One history), same company that put Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, and Ayrton Senna on the map. Unfortunately, in 1994, Team Lotus went bankrupt. However, Team Lotus was not included in the package that was sold to that rich Italian dude I named earlier; Team Lotus fell under the ownership of David Hunt, who was related to F1 champion James Hunt.
Here we have the original Renault factory racing team. They're responsible for the great Alain Prost and turbochargers. Unfortunately, they were relatively short lived, running out of breath in 1985 and never ever ever coming back. :(
Toleman, Benneton, and Renault F1 version 2.0
Most people haven't heard of 2/3's of these names. Toleman was once a British manufacturer sponsored by Benneton, a fashion company. Eventually Benneton straight out bought Tolemana and threw in Flavio Briatore in as a manager. In 1991, Benneton also signed Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn as driver and technical director, respectively. Then in 1996, Brawn left Benneton for Ferrari. 2000 came around and Renault acquired Benneton and turned it into its second F1 team. Briatore was hired as team manager, Fernando Alonso as a driver, bringing them two title for the team. Then 2009, Briatore was fired for Renault's infamous actions in the previous year. After that, Renault gave up the chase and sold most of the shares to Genii Capital a investment firm who then subsequently became partners with Proton.
So here we are now, Lotus announced a while ago that they were going back to the old, classic JPS (John Player Special) paint scheme. Apparently they're short of artistic talent and need fans to help design the livery.
To add to any more confusion, the two teams, as I mentioned earlier, bear the same livery, powered by the same Renault engines, and all based in England, despite being owned by a Malaysian auto-maker and invested in by a airline magnate fro Asia.
So in any case, be prepared to see this...
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Lotus Renault GP, Máté Petrány, Simon Miles/Getty Image, Darren, Pascal Rondeau/Allsport, Clive Mason/Getty Images.