The Lotus Renault GP team has confirmed that Vitaly Petrov will be the first driver to sample the new R31 when it makes its track debut in testing at Valencia next week.

The team will launch its 2011 car at the Spanish circuit on Monday ahead of the opening three-day test of the year, with Petrov set to drive the car for the first day of running on Tuesday.

Team-mate Robert Kubica will then take over for the remaining two days of the test, with the pair then spending two days each at the wheel through the following tests at Jerez, Catalunya and Bahrain.

While the car has yet to appear in public, the team revealed the black and gold livery it will use for 2011 during the recent Autosport International show at Birmingham's NEC.



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