Lotus F1's technical director Nick Chester revealed on Monday that the team is unlikely to take part in the first scheduled pre-session test session of 2014, raising concerns that the team is behind in its development programme for the forthcoming season.

"We're going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams," revealed Chester. "We've decided that attending the Jerez test isn't ideal for our build and development programme."

The four-day Jerez test is scheduled for 28-31 January, with two further test opportunities available to all teams in February in Bahrain.

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A Lotus spokesman confirmed to Crash.net that running the old E21 chassis was not an option because of all the technical specification changes that have come into effect over the winter.

"We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions," added Chester.

The technical director denied there were problems with the 2014 car, however, and insisted that he and the team were happy with their progress and that plans for the new season were still on course.

"We've made very good progress with the various homologation tests which took place before Christmas including chassis squeeze and side impact loading tests as well as the rear crash structure, meaning we just have the nose test to complete the car's homologation," he said.

"We've undertaken chassis fits for Romain and Pastor," he continued. "Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges.

"Our E22 development programme has been ongoing for over two years and it has been illuminating watching it grow," he added. "The backbone of Enstone is strong and we are relishing the challenge of the new season ahead."

Chester said that the team was confident on picking up on the strong form it had at the end of 2013, despite the way that new technical specifications are likely to 'reset' the sport this year.

"From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive," said Chester. "That said, we are very much working with very little idea of what the other teams are doing. This is the first year of radically different regulations which means that all teams are developing their cars along potentially quite different avenues.

"It's fascinating for us engineers and I hope it is fascinating for the fans too," he suggested. "We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger."