A few of the established Formula 1 teams are testing their 2010 machines at Valencia now, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to see the much anticipated Lotus F1 car. However, that’s fully expected and not due to any trouble in the car’s development. Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne earlier revealed that the Malaysian-backed outfit will only join the final two test sessions before the 2010 season starts in Bahrain.

Lotus has confirmed that its official launch will take place on the 12th of February at London’s Royal Horticultural Hall, where we’ll get to see the car’s livery for the first time. It was speculated that the car will then run on track for the first time in Silverstone the following day, but reports say that the Lotus could see some action on the British track this week. Gascoyne earlier mentioned that the car will be fired up on February 5, so it is a possibility.

Interestingly, if that comes true, Lotus could “bump into” friendly rivals Virgin F1, which is set to shakedown their 2010 car at the same time and place. An early stage for the battle of the newcomers?