JEREZ, Spain - The Lotus Formula 1 team has shrugged off controversy attracted by the eye-catching split nose on its 2014 car.The team has released a computer-generated image of the new E22 car which shows a nose that ends like a pair of unequal tweezers.Technical director Nick Chester said on the team's website: "We've passed all the necessary crash tests and are very confident our design complies with all International Automobile Federation requirements. We've just taken an innovative direction, one that's different. Where there are so many variations in design there is always bound to be a little talk but we remain relaxed and focused on our design and progression."ABSENT FROM TESTINGLotus was fourth overall in 2013 despite financial difficulties but was the only one of 11 teams absent from the first pre-season test of the season in Jerez, southern Spain.The Lotus solution, in response to new regulations from the federation that demanded a lower nose on F1 cars to avoid tub penetration in a crash, was questioned on January 27 by Toro Rosso's technical director James Key who said: "The Lotus nose needs a bit of clarification. It's a very clever idea."I don't think it's illegal, it's just whether it's in the spirit of the regulations."Chester said Lotus, which replaced team principal Eric Boullier with co-chairman Gerard Lopez earlier in January 2014, was proceeding well with preparations for the 2014 season which will open in Melbourne in March.Chester said: "The car's coming together pretty well. The build is well advanced and we think we'll be in good shape for Bahrain come the next test."Lotus has Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and Frenchman Romain Grosjean as drivers for 2014. Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.