Well, it looks like March 21 will be the day that the naming row over Lotus goes into full trial. In a summary judgment application hearing at the High Court in London yesterday, the judge rejected Group Lotus’ application to prevent the case from going to a full trial.

At the hearing, Justice Peter Smith also felt that it was in everyone’s best interests to bring the hearing date for the full trial forward earlier, instead of allowing the situation to continue to simmer until sometime near the end of the year.

Fixing the date of the beginning of the trial at March 21, which is after the season opener in Bahrain, Justice Smith nonetheless urged both parties to attempt to settle the issue amicably before then.

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes was of course delighted by the initial outcome of the case. “Very very happy over the judgment today. And extremely happy that full trial brought forward to March 21. The good do always eventually win,” he wrote on his Twitter feed.

“Today’s case is Group’s desperate attempt to use their one-way unlawful termination of license agreement of Lotus Racing. Saying One Malaysia can’t use Lotus. Part of post-termination clauses. So nothing changes on Team Lotus,” Fernandes stated in another Twitter post.

So, while the “Battle of the Lotuses” continues to run, one thing’s for sure right now – there’ll be Group Lotus’ Lotus-Renault GP and Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus on the starting grid for the 2011 F1 season.