Team and Group Lotus are officially reunited
Hethel's Group Lotus has finally been reunited with the Team Lotus racing marque, as Hingham's Formula One team officially said goodbye to its original grand plan.
The two Lotus entities have been under separate ownership since the mid 1980s.
There were suggestions Group Lotus' Malaysian owners Proton thought they were buying the then defunct Team Lotus Formula One team when they purchased the Hethel car company in 1996.
In fact, it was David Hunt who still owned the Norfolk constructor – rights he sold to Tony Fernandes last summer, kicking off a whole new set of quarrels with Proton and Hethel that have only just been resolved.
Last week Fernandes' team were given permission to change their F1 name and chassis from Team Lotus to Caterham from 2012, and yesterday Hingham confirmed the rights to Team Lotus have now been passed over to Hethel as part of the amicable – and confidential – settlement between the two parties.
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Indeed, Caterham and Lotus plan to work together on future projects – a far cry from the bitter public spats and High Court trials of the last 18 months.
Chief executive at Hingham, Riad Asmat, said: 'We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to Formula One when many tried and although we are sad to say goodbye to Team Lotus, we are excited about owning our own future and being in control of our own destiny.
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'Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain green and yellow. We look forward to an exciting future racing under our new name of Caterham F1.'
Having willed support from Lotus fans since arriving on the grid in 2010, Asmat hopes people will stick with them despite the loss of Norfolk's iconic marque.
'Please continue to support our very special spirit of never say die and support us on the track as we move up the field and demonstrate that the good do win,' he added.
The name of Hethel-backed Lotus Renault GP is set to remain unchanged, with the British-licensed team running Lotus chassis instead of Renaults.
Group Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar said: 'I would like to express how pleased we are that this matter is finally closed and we can now focus on looking to the future.
'We understand this has been a very difficult and confusing time for the fans of the sport and the Lotus brand, so we are glad to have reached a clear resolution. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their continued support.'