The Lotus T128 became the eighth 2011 car to take to the track when Heikki Kovalainen head out of the Valencia pit garage this morning.
The car had previously only been seen in pictures taken in an undergound car park in the team’s internet launch in the early hours of Monday morning.
Lotus is of course the only team to have switched engine supplier over the winter, and the Renault is mated to the 2009 Red Bull gearbox. Last year’s RBR box was optimised for the double diffuser, which is why it made more sense to go for an older spec.
The team has no immediate plans to run KERS but may be forced to do so later in the year if its lack proves to be a real handicap.
The car also features a ‘spike’ roll hoop, although it is not as extreme as that on last year’s Mercedes, and is thus legal.