Team Lotus have launched their 2011 car, unveiling the new machine online early this morning. The team have retained 2010 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli for the upcoming campaign, when they will switch from Cosworth to Renault engines.

The Norfolk-based squad – who have acquired the rights to race under the famous Team Lotus moniker – had initially planned to race in black and gold this season, but with the re-branded Lotus Renault GP unveiling the same colour scheme in December boss Tony Fernandes elected to stick with the British Racing Green livery used last year. As you may have guessed from Badger’s new site colouring this is a move that went down well at the Sett.

Dubbed the TL11, the new car is the second to be produced by the Mike Gascoyne-led technical team in Hingham. It follows last year’s maiden attempt, which was produced in just six months. The team enjoyed a solid first year in F1, proving themselves to be the quickest of the three new teams on last year’s grid. With a season of development work under their belts and far more time to produce the new machine Team Lotus will be hoping for a significant step towards the midfield this year.

From these images it seems they’ve adopted the 2010 Mercedes style airbox, we always quite liked that design and from the early pictures it seems Mercedes themselves aren’t going down this route in 2011.

What do you all think?   Do you like what you see?

The Livery that never was

As well as launching the new livery, Team Lotus also showed the world what their car would have looked like before all this legal malarkey came about with another Lotus on the grid for 2011… so here’s their black and gold effort (doesn’t half look sweet)

So what do you think folks?

Ignoring all the legal kerfuffle that’s been brewing up for what seems like an eternity, what do you think of the new green Lotus mahine, it’s not a massively radical departure from last year’s debut (well, not after a quick glance) but with all the noises coming out of Tony Fernandes’ crew they’re aiming high with regular points finishes being their aim for the year – who knows, they certainly achieved their aims last year and it’s only a matter of time before Mr Branson is due to start his shift as an air steward!

The actual car... and a very proud team