Lotus already have one Malaysian test driver under contract in the shape of Fairuz Fauzy who has spent a few GP Fridays this season deputising for the first-choice drivers. The team are planning to fast-track more budding talent into Formula One from their home base of Malaysia in the near future.
For example, 16-year-old Malaysian Nabil Jeffri has been invited to get his first taste of F1 by taking the wheel of the T127 for an aero test in England this September. Jeffri is currently contesting the Formula BMW Pacific series as a member of the Eurasia Motorsport Team and is fifth in the overall standings. His best race result so far has been a P5.
"I am proud and thrilled to have an opportunity to drive the Lotus Racing in the aero test," said Jeffri. "It's a big privilege to gain driving experience with the most promising new F1 team. I'm looking forward to many similar opportunities to arise in the context of the team's rising talent programme."
According to team principal Tony Fernandes, the aim of giving Jeffri this test is to show that there is a clear career path in motor racing and that you are never too young to start: "I'm sure he will be getting a few friendly words of advice from Fairuz before he makes his debut."