Lotus Threatens Legal Action Against New Formula 1 Team Using Its Name

In press release issued by Lotus Cars, the British exotic car maker takes issue with recent reports that a new Formula 1 team for 2010 will run under the banner of Team Lotus. The new team, however, says that’s not the case.

U.K.-based Litespeed Racing has already secured a sport on the 2010 F1 lineup and decided to run under the Team Lotus name, with the permission of the name’s rights-holder David Hunt.

When Lotus Cars Limited heard of this, it issued a release which clearly stated that, “Group Lotus plc will take all necessary steps to protect its name, reputation and brand image,” a thinly veiled threat that the automaker will seek legal action if Litespeed continues with its plans.

That all seems straightforward enough, except this morning a report in AutoSport suggests information to the contrary. An unnamed source inside the newly formed Team Lotus said, “We’ve kept Lotus fully informed of our intentions and are well aware of the need to protect its brand image. We look forward to having closer ties with it in the future.”

Is this all just a big misunderstanding, or is it possible that Lotus Cars has been made aware of Team Lotus’s plans and is not amused?

[Source: WorldCarFans and Autosport]