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F1: Renault Formula One cars to carry an unusual brand in Korea

Bryan Edwards

Whether you call the black and gold cars Lotus after their sponsor or Renault after the tech, they still have their engine manufacturer's logo proudly displayed. Caterham (which has the right to the name Team Lotus but doesn't use it) also carry Renault branding. But for the Korean GP, that's going to change and almost no one outside Korea will know why

Walking around Korea, one is often taken with the splendid cars that are made only for the Korean market. All the big manufacturers make some seriously good looking vehicles that never leave the country.

But there's a little secret: there's a whole brand that doesn't export and, yet, it's a joint venture between two enormous brands.

Some time ago, Red Bull took on name sponsor Infiniti (after Nissan's equivalent of Honda's Accura) even though the team uses Renault engines. Why? Simply because Renault and Nissan are siblings in a global enterprise that has, unlike GM and Ford brands, managed to secure global economies of scale while producing discrete model ranges that are desirable in themselves.

But in Busan, in South Korea, where the Japanese are more tolerated than liked, Renault has a joint venture with a surprising partner: Samsung.

And so, for one race only, the two teams that could both be called something like Lotus will have new "superbranding" - Renault-Samsung will appear on both teams. Note carefully....