The FIA announced today that Lotus will get the final place on the 2010 F1 grid. The Malaysian government has backed the bid and the entry was made by a company called “1Malaysia F1 Team”.
1Malaysia is an initiative of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, intended to promote unity among Malaysians. This brightly-coloured car model was on display at an official announcement in Malaysia today.
The team principal will be Tony Fernandes, who is ranked the 15th-richest man in Malaysia and set up Air Asia, the airline which sponsors Williams.
A statement from the government said: “?óÔé¼?ôThe cars will be made in Malaysia, by Malaysians [...] The team will announce its two drivers by October 31, 2009. Currently six local and international drivers have been selected.”
Interestingly, FIA president candidate Jean Todt has links to Malaysia via his partner Michelle Yeoh and his role as an ambassador for Malaysian tourism (about which questions were raised earlier this year).
The model above may prove not to be indicative of what the team’s final 2010 livery will look like – but I think it would be great to see such a radical colour scheme on the F1 grid.
But with Force India, US F1 and now 1Malaysia, is F1 slowly turning into A1 Grand Prix?
Update: Alex Yoong yesterday referred to the car as ‘project raibow’ on Twitter. Is this paint scheme serious?
Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams