Mike Stevens | Feb 15, 2010

THE LOTUS NAME is back in Formula One, returning from a 15 year absence with the unveiling this week of its new challenger, the 2010 Lotus T127 race car.

While it is not owned by Lotus the carmaker, Lotus F1 Racing is backed by the Malaysian Government - where Lotus owner Proton is based - securing the rights last year to the team's name and legendary green and yellow colours.

Mike Gascoyne, technical chief for the T127, admitted the car was designed very quickly, the team revealing its car mere weeks ahead of the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix.

"The last few months have been some of the most challenging of my career, but it's been a challenge the whole team and I have thrived on since we first started work on the car up in Norfolk," Mr Gascoyne said.

"I'm delighted that we've reached this point, and now we have a beautiful car that gives us a great base to work from for the season ahead and a fighting chance of going racing in the right way, with a winning mentality. The hard part starts now, and I know everyone in the team and I are up for whatever lies ahead."

The Lotus T127 is powered by a Cosworth engine - another name returning to the sport after an extended absence - and will use an Xtrac transmission.

Driver Jarno Trulli said that with the car being slightly heavier than than the team's opponents, the 2010 season will be a challenge.

"We know it is not going to be easy. We are running out of time before Bahrain," Trulli told the BBC at the car's launch.

What they have achieved so far is great but for this year we have to be realistic. We know we will have troubles, but we have to be reliable, decent and show great promise."

Trulli will partner with former McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen in the 2010 championship.

Showing support for the team named after her husband's company, Hazel Chapman - wife of the late Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus - was present at the car's unveiling.

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