Fauzy to drive Lotus in first practice at Silverstone


Lotus test and reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy will be taking part in Free Practice 1 this Friday as the team prepare for the British Grand Prix.

The Malaysian driver, who took part in one practice session at his home grand prix earlier this season, will also get a chance to drive the T127 in Hungary, Singapore and the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli will each give up their T127 on two occasions to make this possible.

Fauzy also took part in pre-season tests in Jerez and Barcelona, and is excited about driving in front of the British fans this weekend. “First I want to thank Tony (Fernandes), Mike (Gascoyne) and the whole team for the chance to get back in the car,” he said. “I really can't wait to see how far we've moved forward since I was last out on track, and I'm very proud to have been given the chance to play another active role in our continuing development. I did the shakedown of chassis 04 at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago, but obviously couldn't really push there, so it'll be great to get back out and add whatever I can to help the team keep moving towards the midfield.

“To start out at Silverstone is going to be very special indeed – I live literally a few metres from the track, so I'll have a lot of friends, family and fans there to cheer me and the whole team on, and it'll be great to be among the first F1 cars to try out the new section.

“I'm also really looking forward to the other three races, particularly Singapore as there is a unique challenge to racing under the lights, but also because there will be a lot of fans there from Malaysia and Singapore, and it'll be great to put on a good show for them.”

Gascoyne, the Lotus Chief Technical Office, says that Fairuz being in the car is good for the team, as well as good experience for the rookie driver. “Every time Fairuz has been out on track for us he's done a great job, and taking part in four more races is a just reward for the contribution he's already made to the establishment and growth of our team. It's another chance for us to learn more about how to get the most out of him in the car, as well as providing us with another invaluable viewpoint on the characteristics of our car.”

Tony Fernandes also had strong words of praise for the Malaysian driver. “I'm absolutely delighted Fairuz will back in the hot seat at four more races – he's done an excellent job for us whenever he's been out on track, and his enthusiasm and input throughout race weekends, whether he's in or out of the car, has made him a real asset to the whole team,” said the Lotus team principal.

“But for me it's not just about the fact he'll be taking part in those Friday sessions – it's also important to see that Fairuz is proving that hard work, perseverance and dedication can make dreams come true, whoever you are, and wherever you are in the world.

“Everyone in Malaysia is behind him, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin in MotoGP 125, another Malaysian flying the flag in international motorsport, and they are proving that talent and dedication can take you right to the very top. Fahmi will be adding more points to his tally very soon, and while Fairuz isn't yet in a position to score points, his technical input will provide us with more very useful data, and that's obviously very important.

“Equally important is the inspirational role he continues to play which will, I believe, also help us take another step forward, and I'd like to thank him for that as well.”