Fauzy could drive Lotus in Sepang practice UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Lotus has now confirmed two pieces of news that were revealed recently.
The first is that the new Malaysian team's Kuala Lumpur-born test driver Fairuz Fauzy will be driving race regular Heikki Kovalainen's green T127 car at Sepang on Friday morning.
"I've been told to get ready for Friday's practice and it will be a fantastic feeling for me," said the 27-year-old.
And we reported on Tuesday that the Norfolk-based team would shortly confirm a sponsor deal with leading Malaysian mobile network Maxis, with a logo to be placed on car's nose section.
"There is money in the sponsorship," confirmed Maxis' COO Jean Pascal van Overbeke. "It is a firm one year sponsorship with long intentions."
Like fellow new entrants Virgin and HRT, Lotus will be at the back of the Sepang grid this weekend, but team boss Tony Fernandes insists his plan is to bring the team forwards.
"If we're still last in three seasons, we've wasted our time," he is quoted as saying by the AP news agency.02/26/10 (GMM) The next time Fairuz Fauzy drives Lotus' T127 car could be during Friday practice for the Malaysian grand prix in April.
Although every other team fielded race drivers, 27-year-old Kuala Lumpur born reserve driver Fauzy was at the wheel at Barcelona on Thursday.
He was the slowest of the 11 runners, and nearly seven seconds off Mark Webber's headline time.
According to Finland's Turun Sanomat, Fauzy does not know when he will drive the car next.
But the newspaper said he could be driving one of the race driver's Norfolk-built cars during free practice at Sepang, which is the Malaysian-backed team's home race.
"I have to be ready all the time to drive the car," Fauzy is quoted as saying. "You never know what will happen."
Fauzy thinks the T127 will not be so far off the pace in Bahrain in two weeks.
"We're still far off but there is still improvement to be had," said the team's reserve driver, predicting an eventual lap time deficit of about three seconds.