Fauzy Confirmed for Friday Practice in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur-born test driver Fairuz Fauzy will make his debut in a Formula One car less than 2 days from now, during the Friday practice sessions of the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix. This way, the fans present at the Sepang International Circuit will get to see a Malaysian driver, competing for a Malaysian-backed team in his home country for the first time in F1 history.

The announcement has been made official by the Malaysian team earlier today, but the information had surfaced in the media ever since the end of the Australian Grand Prix last weekend. The former GP2 driver will therefore replace Finnish racer Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus T127 cockpit this Friday.

The choice of driver to let Fauzy experience his first official F1 drive was made by ... coin toss. At least that's how Kovalainen explained it last Sunday, when first hinting that Fauzy will drive the Lotus in the Malaysian practice. According to Finland's Turun Sanomat, Kovalainen picked tails in the coin toss, and will have to sit one off before getting reacquainted with the car on Saturday morning.

I've been told to get ready for Friday's practice and it will be a fantastic feeling for me,” said Fauzy on Tuesday, during a media event in Kuala Lumpur.

The 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix will also mark Lotus first race on home soil since their return to the series this year, something that has already been celebrated with the fans at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur this week (where the team presented all its drivers and the green-and-yellow Lotus Cosworth T127 to the fans.)

Additionally, the team confirmed a new sponsorship with Malaysian mobile network Maxis.

Maxis is pleased to broaden its sports involvement through the sponsorship of the Lotus Racing Team in Formula One. This is the pride of the nation and as the leading and most innovative Malaysian Telco, which is also globally respected, we wanted to be a part of this wonderful Malaysia moment,” said Sandip Das, Maxis Berhad Chief Executive Officer.
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