In 2011, Group Lotus and Tony Fernandes continued their fight over naming rights, and following a ruling in May the Malaysian team could continued using the "Team Lotus" name and Team Lotus roundel, but could not use "Lotus" on its own.
The ruling also confirmed Fernandes as the owner of the Team Lotus name, having bought the rights to the name from David Hunt. However, the court ruling stated that Group Lotus had sole right to use the name "Lotus" on its own, and could enter Formula One using "Lotus" for a team name, the black and gold livery, and the Lotus roundel.
Consequently, in 2012 the Enstone team - formerly Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Lotus Renault GP - raced as Lotus F1 Team, while Fernandes outfit will competed as Caterham F1 Team.
In late November 2011, Lotus F1 Team announced that it had been informed by Robert Kubica that he was unable to commit to driving for it in 2012. Days later, the team announced that it had secured the services of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn returning to F1 after an absence of two seasons. A couple of weeks later, despite Vitaly Petrov having a valid contract, Romain Grosjean was confirmed as Raikkonen's teammate.
After 300 Grands Prix, 2012 saw Renault with a new name, a new driver line-up and new ambitions. While one applauded the team for its (failed) experiment in 2011, one had to wonder if it wasn't taking another enormous risk in terms of Raikkonen, while there were those who also doubted Eric Boullier's abilities as a team boss.
Right from the outset the E20, named in honour of Enstone the HQ of Benetton and then Renault, was good. Not Red Bull good but good enough to give the McLarens and Ferrari(s) a run for their money.
Despite the lack of budget, certainly compared to the big guns, the (now) British team was one of the front-runners.
Scoring points in every round and Kimi Raikkonen completing all but one of the season's 1192 laps is an indicator of how good the E20 was. Indeed, had it not been for the errors of Grosjean the team might have finished third in the championship ahead of McLaren and Mercedes.
Good looking cars don't always perform well but in the case of the E20 it did, though a lot of the credit, other than James Allison and his team, must go to The Iceman, who was even quicker (and moodier) than we remembered him.
An Enstone car is always going to provide a little controversy and this time around it was the car's suspension which attracted attention. Better on a Sunday than a Saturday the E20 was also better suited to warmer conditions.
In Bahrain it was widely felt that Raikkonen could have pushed Vettel a little harder but then again it was too easy to forget that this was no longer a works team and that the Finn had been away for two years. It was widely seen that an Iceman win was a matter of when rather than if but as the season wore on one tended to think that the window of opportunity had closed. Then came that sublime performance in Abu Dhabi.
By that time the team was clearly losing ground, a situation not helped by its failure to get to grips with its double DRS F-duct style device and its equally controversial Coanda exhaust.
While Raikkonen was one of the true stars of 2012, Grosjean was a major disappointment. Though clearly talented he had gained a reputation as a "nutcase" particularly because of his wild and erratic starts. In Belgium he was responsible for an incident which eliminated Alonso and Hamilton at the first corner, indeed, the Spaniard was lucky not to be seriously injured, or worse. Consequently, the Frenchman became the first driver to be banned from a race (Monza), his place taken by Jerome d'Ambrosio.
On his return the Frenchman was clearly far more subdued and circumspect, the lack of points however saying more about the car than his lack of determination. Claiming that he had learned his lesson, if he has he would be worth watching in 2013, though some insisted he was still too wild and reckless.
With funding, not least from Coca-Cola, things were look good for the Enstone team in 2013, and if Allison and his men were to pick up where they left off, it could be an interesting season for the British team.
With the team taking victory in Melbourne, courtesy of Raikkonen, things got off to the best possible start, though Grosjean, who experienced handling problems, could only manage tenth having qualified eighth. Sadly, in many ways it was the team's highlight of the year.
Though it was on the pace at most circuits, it was problems behind the scenes, mainly financial, that were to dominate. Not as badly affected by the Pirelli rubber as some, even the change to the compounds at mid-season didn't seem to damage the team as much as its rivals.
First to launch its 2013 contender, the team persisted with its Coanda exhaust and a number of other 'devices', the Enstone outfit maintaining its ancestors' reputation for innovation.
However, early in the season there was talk of Lotus being one of several teams suffering money problems, the flames of speculation subsequently fanned when it was revealed that James Allison - widely regarded as one of the up and coming technical stars - jumped ship… the Englishman returning to Ferrari.
Shortly after Allison's departure - which was with immediate effect - Lotus announced that it had agreed a deal with Infinity Racing Partners Limited (Infinity Racing) which was to acquire a 35% minority stake in the team. Sadly, by season end the deal had not yet been finalised. Indeed, as Infinity morphed in to Quantum Motorsport, the reasons for the failure to conclude the deal became ever sillier.
In the meantime, as more top members of staff sought positions elsewhere, it was revealed that Raikkonen had not been paid. While Eric Boullier did his best to paper over the cracks and hold things together it was clear that the team was in difficulty.
Grosjean went from strength to strength, the Frenchman clearly benefitting from his time with a sport psychologist, the erratic antics of 2012 now a distant memory. However, after several 'warnings', Raikkonen eventually gave up and walked out on the team with two races remaining having revealed that he hadn't been paid a single euro for his year's work.
Despite its obvious problems, finishing fourth in the championship, 39 points shy of Ferrari and 45 shy of Mercedes, was no mean feat and Boullier and his men should be applauded. Under the circumstances, Raikkonen gave 100% while Grosjean was one of the true revelations, the Frenchman finally living up to that early promise. Indeed, in the latter stages of the championship he was the only driver giving Vettel a run for his money.
Going into 2014 the financial situation is still far from settled, though Boullier gamely insists that all is well. To that affect, Pastor Maldonado has been welcomed along with his PDVSA money, whilst Grosjean is promoted to the role of team leader.
Widely regarded as 'Fake Lotus' the team, courtesy of Benetton and Renault, still has a rich heritage, and one cannot help but hope that things can be turned around. There is talk of Renault coming to its aid though much will depend on how the French manufacturer has dealt with the various rule changes.
Chairman & Team Principal: Gerard Lopez
Deputy Team Principal: Federico Gastaldi
Chief Executive Officer: Matthew Carter
Chief Operating Officer: Thomas Mayer
Trackside Operations Director: Alan Permane
Technical Director: Nick Chester
Head of Aerodynamics: Nicolas Hennel
Chief Designer: Martin Tolliday
Race Team Manager: Paul Seaby
Chief Mechanic: Greg Baker
Race Engineer (Grosjean): Mark Slade
Engine Engineer (Grosjean): Jerome Bourgeois
Race Engineer (Maldonado): Ayao Komatsu
Engine Engineer (Maldonado): Julien Barbieux
Group Brand Director: Stephane Samson
Head of Event Marketing: Frederic Garcia
General Communications Manager: Clarisse Hoffmann
Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by Lotus F1 Team and designed for maximum strength with minimum weight. RS27-2013 V8 engine installed as a fullystressed member.
Front suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted inside the front of the monocoque. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Rear suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones with pull rod operated torsion springs and transverse-mounted damper units mounted in the top of the gearbox casing. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Transmission: Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system in operation to maximise speed of gearshifts.
Fuel system: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
Cooling system: Separate oil and water radiators located in the car’s sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car’s forward motion.
Electrical: MES-Microsoft Standard Electronic Control Unit.
Braking system: Carbon discs and pads. Calipers by AP Racing. Master cylinders by AP racing and Brembo.
Cockpit: Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite with six-point or eight-point harness seat belt. Steering wheel integrates gear change, clutch paddles, and rear wing adjuster.
KERS: Motor generator unit driving into front of engine with batteries as an energy store. Motor Generator supplied by Renault Sport F1. Electronic control unit by Magneti-Marelli.
Front track: 1450 mm
Rear track: 1400 mm
Overall length: 5088 mm
Overall height: 950 mm
Overall width: 1800 mm
Overall weight: 642 kg, with driver, cameras and ballast
Configuration: 2.4l V8
No of cylinders: 8
No of valves: 32
Displacement: 2400 cc
Weight: 95 kg
V angle: 90°
Power output: 750 bhp
Spark plugs: Semi surface discharge
Ignition system: High energy inductive
Pistons: Aluminium alloy
Engine block: Aluminium alloy
Crankshaft: Nitrided alloy steel with tungsten alloy counterweights
Connecting rods: Titanium alloy
Throttle system: 8 butterflies