Group Lotus plc has hinted that it could take action to protect the Lotus brand name after the Litespeed team revealed it has lodged its entry for the 2010 Formula One season under the Team Lotus banner.

The British F3 runners are one of a number of new teams to be chasing a slot on the F1 grid for next season, and revealed over the course of the weekend that it had secured rights to use the Lotus name from rights-holder David Hunt.

However, in much the same way that the Brabham family has announced that it will challenge plans by the Formtech company to enter under the Brabham Grand Prix moniker, Group Lotus has moved to distance itself from the Litespeed plans and said it will take steps to protect its name if needed.

"Group Lotus plc and its subsidiary Lotus Cars Limited, the manufacturer of the iconic 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 for the 2010 Formula 1 championship," a statement issued by the company read.

"Group Lotus plc will take all necessary steps to protect its name, reputation and brand image."