Group Lotus plc and its subsidiary Lotus Cars Limited have moved to distance themselves from the recently-announced "Team Lotus" that has submitted an entry for the 2010 Formula 1 world championship, and signaled that they are prepared to take action to protect the Lotus brand name.
British Formula 3 squad Litespeed, which was founded by former Lotus employees Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington, announced last week that it wished to enter F1 next year under the Lotus banner.
Permission to use the Lotus name had apparently been granted by rights-holder David Hunt, however the Lotus company challenged that in a statement released today.
"Group Lotus plc and its subsidiary Lotus Cars Limited, the manufacturer of the legendary Lotus Elise and global high technology engineering consultancy, are not connected or affiliated to, nor in any other way associated with the newly-announced 'Team Lotus' that has submitted an entry 2010 Formula 1 championship," the statement said.
"Group Lotus plc will take all necessary steps to protect its name, reputation and brand image."
The news follows a similar statement issued by the Brabham family last week indicating that it intended to challenge Formtech's plans to enter F1 using its name.