Lotus has confirmed that its 2010 car - the first to bear the famous name since 1994 - will be launched in London on 12 February, but have named the legendary Royal Horticultural Hall as the venue.

The unveiling coincides with the second of the season's four scheduled group tests that precede the opening round in Bahrain, putting Lotus at something of a disadvantage when it comes to track time, but the team is hoping that its car will get a shakedown at least before heading to Jerez for the 17-20 February session. Malaysian test driver Fairuz Fauzy is slated to get the first outing in the car, at Silverstone, on 13 February, leaving race drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen to wait until the official test.

"The first chassis has arrived and everyone's building it," Kovalainen told Reuters, "The engine is here already, so there are quite a lot more people working here compared to a week-and-a-half ago when I was last here.

"It all looks very positive - everybody is flat out working because it will be busy until the first test and first race. It will be very hectic but, for me, it all looks like it is progressing really well. [The car] looks fantastic. I don't expect it to be a rocket to start with, but it looks really cool. I think people will be surprised when they see it."


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