The new Lotus F1 Team has unveiled the first images of what its 2010 car will look like, having completed its first wind tunnel model.
Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne views the completion of the model as a major achievement, even though he admits there is still plenty of work to do before it makes it onto the grid.
"The start of any windtunnel testing is an important step in the development of a new Formula 1 car, but it is particularly exciting for us as we continue preparations for our first season," he said on Wednesday.
"It has been a very busy time since our entry was confirmed by the FIA. We had been working on the entry for several months so we already had aspects of the team infrastructure in place; the finances, the factory and the top management.
"Once our entry was confirmed in mid-September, we were able to accelerate our recruitment and car development process and this is really where we are at now."
Gascoyne remains confident that Lotus will be ready in time for the start of the 2010 season, which kicks off in Bahrain in the middle of March.
"There is no escaping the challenges that we face simply to get the car ready for the first race of next season, but I am confident that we are up to the task in hand. Our target is to get the car ready for a roll out by the middle of February so that we can carry out preseason testing in preparation for Bahrain in mid-March."
Lotus has yet to confirm any of its drivers for next year, but AUTOSPORT understands that Jarno Trulli is favourite to lead the team in 2010, potentially alongside another experienced driver.
Speaking about his drivers, Gascoyne said: "We have been looking closely at the driver market to determine our best options for next year including Malaysian drivers, but no decisions have been made yet.
"We need versatile drivers. We need reliable and technically-minded drivers who can help us develop the car during the season, but at the same time we need drivers who are hungry for results and who can extract every little bit of performance from the car at all times."