Ahead of its launch in London on Friday, the Lotus F1 team has shaken down its car at Silverstone.Reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy was given the honour of driving the car during the brief test on the short Stowe circuit, before the car heads to Jerez to take part in the second of two sessions at the Spanish venue.
During the test, the car used was running in the iconic Lotus’s yellow and green colours as seen in the spyshot above that was posted by Autosport. However, it’s not clear whether Lotus will keep them for the upcoming season or just used for the initial test.
Also notable are the sponsor logos of Proton, Malaysian tourism, the Tune Group and Naza Corporation, but not team boss Tony Fernandes’ airline AirAsia.
Team chief executive Riad Asmat indicated to the Star newspaper that more sponsors could be unveiled at Friday’s official launch.
“You can see from the livery of the car who will be supporting us. It will be a mix of Malaysian and international sponsors,” he told the Malaysian publication.
Lotus’ first test-run at Silverstone was emotional on a lot of levels for those involved in the team’s return to Formula One. Even Tony Fernandes, Lotus’ team principal, admitted that he got emotional after watching the car make its first test run around Silverstone.
Lotus’ shakedown saw it become the second of the four new teams to get a car on track after Virgin completed its shakedown at Silverstone last week and was just 21 weeks after an entry for 2010 was secured.
“It was a big moment to see the car turn a wheel for the first time,” Gascoyne toldBBC Sport. “We had no major issues or anything that gives us concern for the future.
“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.
“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. We got a good number of laps in and we did all the systems checks so we can run in anger in Jerez.”
Following Friday’s launch, the team will head to Jerez de la Frontera where it will join the majority of its rivals in the third pre-season test of 2010, scheduled to get underway on 17 February. It will be the second of the new teams to take to the track.