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Name row ends as changes approved

The F1 commission approves changes for 2012 which will see Team Lotus, Lotus Renault GP and Virgin Racing run under different titles for the new F1 season

The row over the use of the Lotus name in F1 has come to an end following a meeting of the F1 commission in Geneva, where proposed name changes were approved.

According to the BBC, the commission approved the request from Team Lotus to change its name to Caterham, which in turn will allow Renault to become Lotus to tie in with the sponsorship deal it agreed with Group Lotus earlier this year.

The changes will bring to an end the long-running dispute between Group Lotus and Tony Fernandes over the rights to use the Lotus name in F1, with Fernandes running under licence from Group Lotus last year before the two parties fell out and the deal was ended.

Having run as Lotus Racing last year, Fernandes changed to the Team Lotus name for 2011 after purchasing the rights to the name from David Hunt, although that move angered Group Lotus after they entered into their relationship with the Genii Capital-owned Renault team.

The end result was a court hearing earlier this season which ruled Fernandes could continue to run under the Team Lotus name, although the Malaysian businessman had already taken steps to change the name of the team after purchasing the British carmaker Caterham.

Following a lengthy meeting between teams, the decision was taken to allow the two teams to change names which means that, after the confusion of 2011 when Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP went up against each other on track, the Renault team will now be the only one to use the Lotus name in F1.

As well as ending the dispute over the Lotus name, the commission also agreed that Marussia Virgin Racing will be known solely as Marussia Racing to reflect the financial involvement of the Russian carmaker.

The changes will now need to be formally approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council when it meets next month.

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