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Lotus on schedule for mid-February debut 11 Jan 2010

The windtunnel at the Lotus F1 Racing Team Factory. Lotus F1 Racing Team Factory Shoot, Hingham, Norfolk, England, December 2009. Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne at Lotus's composite designs, Cologne, Germnay, December 2009. © Lotus F1 Team Lotus F1 Team's windtunnel model © Lotus F1 team

Mike Gascoyne, the new Lotus team’s chief technical officer, has confirmed that the team are a week ahead of schedule on their build process and making excellent progress in all key areas in their efforts to be ready for the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix in March.

Asked for an update, Gascoyne said “We had been looking at firing up our engine for the first time on 12th February, but with the efforts everyone’s been putting in we have now been able to bring that forward to 5th February. This is obviously a great boost for everyone involved in the team, and shows how much hard work has already gone in since we had our entry confirmed on September 12th.

“With the engine fire-up date now in the diary, we are also in a position to confirm that we will be on track for the first time at the third official test at Jerez from 17th February, and then at Barcelona from 25th February. We are also aiming to run chassis two for the last two days of that Barcelona test.”

Gascoyne also looked ahead to the forthcoming season and announced that the development programme will see a major update at the Spanish Grand Prix in May: “We have said we are aiming to be ahead of the new teams when we all reach Bahrain, but we would also like to be pretty close to the midfield teams after the first few races of the season.

“The update we have planned for Spain will see a boost in performance when we reach Barcelona which will give us the chance to start fighting with the slowest of the established teams which, given progress so far, has to be the next goal for us.”