Pescara, Monday: Former Renault and Toyota Formula One driver Jarno Trulli has today denied any association with the Lotus F1 team, claiming that he will not be driving for the Malaysian-based outfit next season.

Stolen: Lotus driver namesake Jarno Trulli

Lotus today announced that they had signed Heikki Kovalainen and someone called Jarno Trulli for the 2010 season, but the Italian says that he is not in any way linked to Lotus’ new signing.

“That’s not me,” an angered Trulli told journalists. “I have nothing to do with Lotus and will be commencing legal action for their improper use of my name.”

Trulli’s lawyer was contacted for a statement, which read: “My client, Jarno Trulli, has no relationship whatsoever with the Lotus Formula One team. The team have simply appropriated the glamorous and historic name of one-time Grand Prix winner Jarno Trulli and are wrongly using it to give their driver an air of historicity and past glory. Clearly this is unacceptable.”

Rumours on the identity of the “Trulli” signed by the team have been widespread, though nothing is yet certain – however, Fairuz Fauzy was spotted yesterday in Kuala Lumpur purchasing a false nose and a comically long brown wig.

The team’s technical director Mike Gascoyne was unfazed by threats of legal action when contacted, hard at work in the outfit’s Norfolk base. It is rumoured that Gascoyne is devising a whole new powertrain for Lotus’ first F1 car, to be launched in January, based upon harnessing the energy generated by Colin Chapman spinning in his grave.