Tony Fernandes' Team Lotus operation is pressing full steam ahead with its plans to use the famous name in Formula 1 next year after rebranding its factory and relaunching its team website.
With intense focus on the use of the Lotus name in F1 in 2011, as Lotus Racing becomes Team Lotus and the road car company Group Lotus throws its weight behind the Renault team, the latest move provides a clear indication that the Hingham, UK-based team is not stalling in its intentions.
Lotus Racing bought the rights to use the Team Lotus moniker from previous owner David Hunt back in September, and is currently locked in a legal dispute with Group Lotus over the use of the name in F1.
At Hingham this week, the old Lotus Racing branding was removed and replaced with Team Lotus, while the team's official website has been changed to www.teamlotus.co.uk.
Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes posted on Twitter: "The migration to Team Lotus brand has started. It's a shame. I liked Lotus Racing and always thought Team Lotus [should] be returned to Chapman family. But that's the deck of hand [cards] we got handed."
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said last week that his company had no intention of trying to grab the Team Lotus brand, or making a claim to the heritage of the name.
"We are not claiming to be Team Lotus or to become Team Lotus," he said. "Team Lotus is something that should rest in peace. They had a glorious past, and incredible success. All we are trying to do is to make use of the heritage, as probably any other car company would do as well to support their sales and to market their products. But we do not want to become a second Team Lotus. We will never be. It is just, as you say, a car company trying to come up with a new Formula 1 program."
Interestingly, Team Lotus has been forced to use a British domain name for its website, with the international www.teamlotus.com until yesterday directing viewers to the web pages of Group Lotus.