Team Lotus has declared itself 'confident' that it will win its legal dispute with Group Lotus and be able to use its famous name in Formula 1 this year, in the wake of the first court skirmish between the parties
The London High Court on Monday rejected a bid by Group Lotus for a summary judgement on issues relating to what Team Lotus claims was an early termination of a five-year licencing deal it originally put in place from 2010.
But as well as Mr. Justice Peter Smith stating that he felt the dispute could only be settled with a full-blown case, he also said that he wanted the trial to begin as early as possible.
A push to try and get the matter into court before the start of the 2011 season could not be realised, but a March 21 date has been pencilled in for the proceedings to begin.
With that date falling between the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Australia, it means that unless there is an out-of-court settlement in the next few weeks Team Lotus will definitely be starting the campaign with its current name.
A statement issued by Team Lotus after the court hearing said it was pleased with how the proceedings went and that it remained bullish the final outcome would go its way.
"Team Lotus is delighted that we were successful at the Summary Judgment Application hearing today and that the Judge threw out Group Lotus' application even before hearing the arguments of the barristers on either side," said the statement.
"Although this decision was never in doubt, it means that we start the 2011 season under the Team Lotus name. Whilst we expected that the Judge would refuse this application, it is good to have the decision in black and white.
"The Judge also felt that it was in everyone's best interests to bring the hearing date for the full trial forward and that is now fixed for 21st March rather than us having to wait until Autumn 2011 or even later. We remain confident that we will succeed at the full trial and we can now focus on the challenges ahead in the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship."
Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes wrote on his Twitter feed that he too was delighted with the current situation.
"Very, very happy over the judgment today," he wrote. "And extremely happy that full trial brought forward to March 21st.The good do always eventually win."
As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire
On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield
Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)
It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment
As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground
Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest
The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes
Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold