Fauzy gets Lotus F1 debut on coin toss

Fairuz Fauzy in the Lotus T127

Fairuz Fauzy will make his first appearance in an official F1 practice session at Sepang this weekend.

The Malaysian driver will take over Heikki Kovalainen’s car in the first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix tomorrow. Fauzy, the Malaysian-owned team’s third driver, will hand the car back to Kovalainen for second practice.

Race drivers Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli tossed a coin over which driver would have to relinquish their car to the 27-year-old.

Force India were the first team to put a non-race driver in their car this year, giving Paul di Resta a run in practice for the Australian Grand Prix last week. The British driver will take over Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car in practice tomorrow.

Fauzy’s appearance will be the first time a Malaysian driver has driven in front of his home crowd since Alex Yoong raced for Minardi in 2002 as team mate to Mark Webber.

Fauzy drove the T127 at its Silverstone shakedown and in testing at Jerez in February.

Read more: Fairuz Fauzy biography

2010 Malaysian Grand Prix

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40 comments on Fauzy gets Lotus F1 debut on coin toss

  1. Carole said on 1st April 2010, 8:44

    Must admit that this has me very nervous because I can’t forget Fauzy crashing into lots of people during an A1GP weekend I watched at the start of last year

    (Must add here that I’m a di Resta fan so obviously I have nothing against running reserve drivers in practice in principle, it’s just that letting Fauzy loose on track in an F1 session has me nervous)

  2. Interesting when big teams will use their test drivers….

    • PJA said on 1st April 2010, 10:05

      I don’t think big teams will use their test drivers during a grand prix weekend unless they have to.

    • I think a lot of it is promotion. I remember when Torro Rosso ran Scott Speed at Indianapolis before he had a full-time seat. It was showing off the American to the American crowd. I smell something similar going on here.

  3. PeterG said on 1st April 2010, 9:53

    Trulli Two Face Joker. On this day of St Hilarious.
    He did so much laps in Melbourne. Why so serious. Let’s flip a coin to decide. What an extreme waiste of valuable track time. HRT will not only outqualify a Virgin but will also beat Trulli.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st April 2010, 10:33

    I’ve just another another email from Lotus confirming it will in fact be Kovalainen that Fauzy replaces – will amend the article accordingly.

  5. LookingSpiffy said on 1st April 2010, 10:40

    So it was decided on a coin toss! Fantastic.

  6. APRIL FOOL!!!…right? :S

    • Invoke said on 1st April 2010, 11:01

      To announce they are running a Malaysian driver in front of his home crowd, then to announce it as a joke… wouldn’t go down too well I imagine.

      Also, if both drivers want to run and can’t decide who gives up their seat, a coin toss seems quite logical to me.

  7. samakafuzzy said on 1st April 2010, 11:20

    By the way, Lotus are running a shark fin for the very sirst time this weekend, and are the first new team to do so!

    • Magnificent Geoffrey said on 1st April 2010, 11:27

      I’m a physics tragic, so what’s the main advantage behind the shark-fin theory? Better rear stability and increase of rear downforce by channeling air to the rear wing or something else? [/n00b]

      • Invoke said on 1st April 2010, 11:31

        I believe it’s to keep the airflow in line with the rear wing while cornering, they are mightily ugly in my opinion though!

  8. syd master said on 1st April 2010, 11:30

    i`m malaysian…i hope fauzy set a good time…of coz among new team…

  9. Robert McKay said on 1st April 2010, 11:39

    I guess this is going to be more “one-off” than the regular Friday drives we’re expecting from di Resta.

  10. MattB said on 1st April 2010, 11:49

    Has anyone else noticed that this race, Lotus don’t have ‘Lotus’ written on their car, but they do have ‘Proton’, the parent company. Whilst I don’t particularly like it, I am quite happy about it, as my first car was a green proton! (It was given to me – not sure I’d have chosen it!)

    • Ben said on 1st April 2010, 12:12

      huh? The Thursday pics on Formula1.com clearly show the Lotus with “Lotus” nice and proud on the engine cover. They are however sporting a shark fin extension with a Malaysian flag next to the “Lotus”.

    • Icthyes said on 1st April 2010, 15:47

      To me they’re Team Proton or Force Malaysia anyway, so I’m happy to see them admit it!

      Though they used the Lotus name for publicity to get into F1, now when it’s convenient for publicity they drop it? If it’s true, then that just makes me disrespect their choice of name even more.

  11. MattB said on 1st April 2010, 12:24

    Think I might have been April fooled… :D

  12. Klon said on 1st April 2010, 12:34

    It might just be me, but isn’t this headline a bit lurid? I mean, the coin toss only decided whom of Lotus’ drivers have to give room for Fauzy, not if his debut actually happens or not.

  13. wasiF1 said on 1st April 2010, 16:31

    I hope this will increase the popularity of F1 in Malaysia, I hope to see crowds on Saturday when Fairuz Fauzy take his car on track.

  14. slr said on 1st April 2010, 19:54

    I think with or without a coin toss, Fauzy should get Kovalainen’s car. Kovalainen has had it better with his car so far.

    Trulli will need more time to get at one with his car, as he has not had as much mileage in the T127, thanks to reliability. To be the fastest driver out of the new teams, he will need more time with the car.

  15. manatcna said on 1st April 2010, 22:07

    It seemed perfectly obvious to me

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