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F1 NEWS 

Exclusive: First image of Lotus F1 car

Lotus F1 car

The first Lotus Formula 1 car for 15 years hit the race track on Tuesday as Fairuz Fauzy completed a secret shakedown for the team's 2010 challenger at Silverstone.

As AUTOSPORT's exclusive spy shot of the new car shows, the so-far unnamed machine was running in the historic green and yellow colours that were so synonymous with Lotus in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is not clear, however, whether the team will keep these colours for the season or they have just been used for the initial run.

The successful shakedown of the car marked an emotional moment for the Lotus team, which was only granted an entry for the 2010 season back in September.

Having undertaken the first engine fire-up of the car on Saturday, the team travelled to Silverstone to get some mileage on it before its official launch in London on Friday.

Team principal Tony Fernandes admitted that the first run with the new car had meant a lot to him. "Shakedown started. Quite a few tears," he wrote on his official Twitter feed.

Lotus is scheduled to begin proper testing of the car at next week's third pre-season F1 test at Jerez in Spain.

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