The Cosworth engine in the rear of the first completed 2010 Lotus car has been fired up.
The new Malaysian-backed, Norfolk (UK)-based team announced recently that the single seater will be launched at London’s Royal Horticultural Hall this coming Friday.
It was thought that Lotus would run the car for the first time in the hands of Jarno Trulli at Silverstone on the day after the launch, before joining the third group test at Jerez later in February.
But it has now emerged that the car was in fact fired up at the Hingham factory on Saturday, and is scheduled to be shaken down on Tuesday.
A BBC report said the engine fire-up followed “some minor technical delays”.
“We’ll be shaking the car down on Tuesday, just getting this fire up is one thing, there’s still a lot of parts to go on there,” technical director Mike Gascoyne told BBC Radio Norfolk.
The Malaysian newspaper The Star revealed that the shakedown will take place at Silverstone.
Following Virgin’s two-day Silverstone shakedown late last week, Lotus will be the second of the four new F1 teams to have a car up and running.
“Well done Mike Gascoyne,” said team boss Tony Fernandes. “Sure Colin Chapman would have been proud.”
It is also believed that Force India’s new VJM03, which ran for the first time at Silverstone last Wednesday, has passed all of the mandatory crash tests.