Lotus to unveil F1 car early

Lotus are expecting to unveil their Formula One car for the first time in mid-February.

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has confirmed the team are a week ahead of schedule in preparation for their return to the sport.

It means the car, to be driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, will now likely debut in the third of the pre-season tests in Jerez from February 17.

"When we got the entry on September 12, our schedule said we would fire up on February 12, and we are now scheduled to fire up on February 5," confirmed Gascoyne to Autosport.

"After that, we will be at the second Jerez test and then the final one at Barcelona.

"That will be the first time the world will see the car in action, and we are hoping that chassis two will run for the last two days of the Barcelona test.

"Being a week ahead of schedule is pretty good considering it is modern F1.

"To get an entry on September 12 and to be there in good shape is not a bad effort."