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29/11/2015 Tufty's Shack: 2016 Crystal Ball

25/03/2014 The Sense in his Sacrifice

09/12/2013 F1 End-of-Term Report

15/11/2013 Silly Season 2014 [Edition 3]

15/09/2013 Tufty's Shack: GP2 Season Climax

30/08/2013 Tufty's Shack: GP3 Season Climax

19/08/2013 Tufty's Shack: Silly Season [Edition 2]

23/07/2013 Tufty's Shack: Silly Season [Edition 1]

26/03/2013 Formula One: A Team Sport?

03/02/2013 'Tuftys Point' - Red Bull

03/02/2013 'Tuftys Point' - Sauber

03/02/2013 'Tuftys Point' - Ferrari

03/02/2013 'Tuftys Point' - Force India

31/01/2013 'Tuftys Point' - McLaren

30/01/2013 'Tuftys Point' - Team Lotus

16/01/2013 Driver of the Year

29/11/2012 FOFA Christmas Competition, in association with FreestyleXtreme

14/10/2012 Title Talk

21/09/2012 A Highlight in Spa!

14/04/2012 Tuftys Shack Episode 14

22/03/2012 Sepang Circuit Preview

15/03/2012 Muddy Waters Greet Us For 2012

14/03/2012 Albert Park Circuit Preview

25/02/2012 Formula One™ Winter Testing – Jerez 2012

19/01/2012 Tufty's 2012 Predictions‏

Should teams be allowed to change their names?

Last week the FIA confirmed that ‘Renault’, ‘Lotus’ and ‘Virgin’ were allowed to change their names to Lotus, Caterham and Marussia respectively. But whilst these name changes were approved, should teams actually be allowed to change their names?

There is no doubt; Formula One is big business. It is regularly cited as the most expensive sport in the world and it’s not hard to see why - it’s the sponsors that are plastered over every car that give the teams their money. As such, it’s not uncommon to see a team with a ‘title sponsor’ - the company that pays more than the rest so that their name is more prominent on the car. For example, McLaren’s official name is actually Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Having sponsors on the cars is not a problem, but I’m not so sure if they should be allowed to encroach into the team’s actual name. There is, however, a blurred line between what should and what should not be allowed. When Honda sold their team off at the end of 2008 to Ross Brawn, there was no doubt that it should no longer be called Honda. Brawn even wanted to rename the team Tyrrell, as the squad had originally been known, until he decided to have his own name above the door. In this situation, a name change was necessary and just. But what of the most recent examples - should they have been allowed?

Firstly, we should deal with the Virgin team’s name - Virgin Racing, as it is currently known, will be called Marussia Racing. Technically, this is in fact a benefit to the team; they are now named after a car company and not just a franchise. But the squad (which was one of the new entries for 2010), who have spent two years trying to build their brand in Formula One, now has to change their name and start all over again. It is worth remembering, too, that the team used to be called Manor Motorsport - a much more fitting name for the outfit and one which this writer thinks they should have kept. But money talks, and it is only this that determines whether a team will change its name or not.

Meanwhile, the Lotus vs. Lotus saga has been rumbling on for what feels like an eternity. To complicate matters, the Lotus car company and Team Lotus, which were always kept separate entities by Colin

Chapman, were sold off to different people years ago. Therefore, it was technically legal for both teams to be called Lotus. However, the other teams intervened, seeing it was bad for the sport; a casual viewer would be more than confused to see two teams of the same name on the grid. However, whether the solution that has been proposed and approved is right is a different story. Team Lotus were called Lotus from being set-up. Renault, which has always been known as Renault, were sponsored by the Lotus car company which has nothing to do with Team Lotus. Confused yet? In my opinion, I feel that Renault should have stayed as Renault, despite the French car company now no longer having anything to with the team apart from engine production.

In conclusion, it doesn’t really matter what I think - it’s the money of the sponsors that bothers the teams. Whether this is just or not is subject to debate, but until the teams care more about the fans than their money, that will be the case.

Jonny Whitney

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