LOTUS UNVEILED

Autosport managed to grab the first public picture of the all new Lotus F1 car at Silverstone this afternoon. Full article –

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81365

The first Lotus Formula 1 car for 15 years hit the race track on Tuesday as Fairuz Fauzy completed a secret shakedown for the team’s 2010 challenger at Silverstone.

As AUTOSPORT’s exclusive spy shot of the new car shows, the so-far unnamed machine was running in the historic green and yellow colours that were so synonymous with Lotus in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is not clear, however, whether the team will keep these colours for the season or they have just been used for the initial run.

The successful shakedown of the car marked an emotional moment for the Lotus team, which was only granted an entry for the 2010 season back in September.

Having undertaken the first engine fire-up of the car on Saturday, the team travelled to Silverstone to get some mileage on it before its official launch in London on Friday.

Lotus F1 are still on the look out for a main sponsor so it’s likely the car will change colours before the season starts.

Team principal Tony Fernandes obviously found the running of the car very emotional as he wrote “Shakedown started. Quite a few tears.” on his Twitter account, http://twitter.com/tonyfernandes

While technical director Mike Gascoyne told BBC Sport “It was a big moment to see the car turn a wheel for the first time. We had no major issues or anything that gives us concern for the future.” He went on, “To have done everything from scratch to a running car in 21 weeks is a fantastic achievement. It was a brief shakedown as we didn’t get some of the last parts from our suppliers until 6am on Tuesday morning, but that was to be expected given the timescales.”

He said that the conditions and time restraints didn’t allow the team to get a full understanding of the car, but said there were no major issues.

“We only got to the track at lunchtime but it went pretty well, we were able to do a few laps, which was perfect and great reward for everyone for all the effort they’ve put in. The Stowe circuit is not much bigger than a go-kart track and on a cold February afternoon when it’s snowing intermittently you are never going to learn much about the handling of the car. But we got a good number of laps on it and we did all the systems checks so we can run in anger in Jerez.”

Next time we’ll see the car is at the official launch in London on Friday evening