Fairuz Fauzy joins Renault as reserve driver for 2011

2011 F1 season

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Fairuz Fauzy, Lotus, 2010

Former Lotus test driver Fairuz Fauzy has joined Renault as the team’s reserve driver for 2011.

Fauzy drove for Lotus in five practice sessions in 2010.

The Malaysian driver has also become the first member of the LRGP Academy, the team’s young driver programme. Renault says further drivers will join the team during 2011.

Fauzy said he hopes the deal will lead to his first opportunity to race in F1:

I want to thank Lotus Renault GP for giving me this opportunity. It’s a real honour to be part of a top team that has achieved so much in the sport and it’s something any driver dreams about.
Fairuz Fauzy

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

    Image © Team Lotus

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    53 comments on “Fairuz Fauzy joins Renault as reserve driver for 2011”

    1. Former Lotus test driver Fairuz Fauzy has joined Renault as the team’s reserve driver for 2011

      Big Typo there Keith, Fauzy joins Lotus as there reserve driver this year after leaving Lotus as their test driver…

      Still lets not let silly jokes get in the way of this great news for Fauzy getting this deal with Lotus after leaving Lotus.

      Good for him and Lotus, commiserations to Lotus though.

      1. lol :P

      2. And just which Lotus factory did Keith visit today, Hingham or Hethel?

        1. Hingham.

      3. LOL, if this is the way Renault is going to improve on its running from last year, Kubica be better move on soon.

        Fairuz was more often than not the slowest runner in FP so he will not be a great perspective for new GP drivers.

      4. Is he joining Lotus Renault with Kubica or Lotus with Kovalainen as rumour is Bruno Senna will be announced as Lotus Renault’s reserve driver on Monday.

    2. Nicely done! ;)

    3. can’t say I rate Fauzy personally. Seems like they should be looking for a potential replacement for Kubica – I can’t see Fauzy as being that replacement.

      1. (as i’m expecting Kubica to leave soon…)

          1. He won’t stay at Renault forever, will he?

            I don’t think Renault gives a damn about Fauzy and the primary motivation was to rub it into Lotus’ face. I see it as the first strike in the war which has commenced with the row going to court.

            1. I don’t think that Lotus is that sad to see Fauzy go. After all, his pace hasn’t really set the world on fire (and that’s the polite way of saying it). I think that he is a Proton man and Proton have moved him along with their sponsorship.

            2. As far as I remember, the last time he drove with Lotus was before the Group breached their contract for racing as Lotus Racing. I expect Fairuz to be connected to the Group rather than to the Team Lotus.

          2. To (hopefully) get a race winning car, so we can truly judge whether he’s as good as Alonso or Vettel.

            1. HounslowBusGarage
              18th January 2011, 20:45

              Do you think KUB will replace MAS at the end of the season (I do!)?

            2. As much as I like Felipe, I would enjoy seeing Kubica against Alonso and think that it probably would happen soon. They’re currently supposed to be friends but that’ll surely end if Kubica provides a threat to Fred!

              Massa needs to rebuild his career at an upper midfield team like Renault, where I would still expect him to beat Petrov. That could build his confidence/reputation and if the team continue growing, he might be back fighting for wins.

            3. Sorry to butt in but I saw Massa mentioned :P

              I think if Massa is going to be replaced by Kubica at any point it’s probably going to be at the end of season. Massa won’t now have the excuse of coming straight back from injury and there will be new tyres.

              The problem is I believe both have two years at their current teams so maybe it’ll be delayed until 2012. Massa’s already shown he’ll be a number 2 to Alonso so if it works then Ferrari might not want to rock the boat and there’s always the possibility Kubica might have a bad season.

              I’d say this season we’re likely to know once and for all whether Felipe is getting the boot for Robert but it’s still all to play for.

            4. Do any of you seriously think Alonso would be OK with Kubica coming to his backyard? That would be like Schumacher trying to convince Hakkinen to come and join him at Ferrari!!!

            5. Exactly, Dipak has it right.

              There are two drivers commonly said to be the most complete drivers in F1 today, Alonso and Kubica. Alonso wouldn’t have it.

              By the way… Kubica is quickly becoming one of my favourites… is this just me?

            6. Perhaps. If Alonso throws another tantrum, he won’t have many places to go.

    4. Apparently he was given a chance last year and managed to be over a second slower than the HRTs in a “Lotus”. I wonder if he can achieve this feat for the other “Lotus”?

      1. A second is a big gap in a Lotus when compared to HRT. If he doesn’t do well at Renault he won’t last long. Then where will he go? Back to Team Lotus?

        1. No. Out of F1. Whoever isn’t good enough to be in F1 should not be in it.

      2. He was very slow in his few on track excursions for Lotus last year. I would think he can repeat it this year.

    5. Jonathan W (@)
      18th January 2011, 20:28

      Shame about Romain Grosjean I think he’d been hoping for that seat. But at least Renault have a back up plan if Putin loses interest.

      1. There is nothing to say that a team cannot have more than one test driver.

    6. I can’t wait to see the looks on Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoynes faces.

      1. Rumour has it they’re replacing him with Karun Chandok…so I’d say they’ll be smiling!!

      2. They will politely congratulate him with his contract and smile behind the corner, glad to see the back of him.

        It was a waist of their time to have him in the car from a racing point of view, the only purpose was to keep Proton happy (he stopped acting as a 3rd driver immediately after Group Lotus stopped backing them officially by retracting the licence for Lotus Racing)

        1. … I think this is the appropriate time to point out Kamui Kobayashi was only there to keep the Toyota bosses happy. But now he’s everyone’s second favourite driver… You never know.

          Before Kamui got his drive, No one bar his mum would have predicted to him to be such a sensation, let alone on the pace.

          As the great Murray Walker would say, “Anything can happen in formula one, and it usually does.”

    7. So, he is a pay -Friday- driver? Probably there to keep the Malaysian investors happy.

    8. Faraz,

      doubt he will be a large loss to team lotus. Didn’t they release him anyway in December? So lotus gp haven’t won his signature.

      1. YEP, they did.

    9. What if Ferrari would have to employ Schumi after Massa leaves?

      Alonso to Luca: Do you want me to go back to Spain and tell everyone that Maranello is the worst place to work… if that’s what you want, go ahead and employ him?

      1. I actually think Alonso will be happy to have Schumi as a teammate. Its not everyday that you get to hammer a 7 time WDC in the same equipment.

    10. This is a pretty hilarious story actually, mostly because the poor lad is, in reality, a bit pants compared to an actually racing prospect F1 driver, maybe an HRT driver but nothing more. Pure narrow minded petty niggle at Fernandes mob, possibly by Bahar or some other suit at Group. I mean, who sign’s Fauzy as reserve drive when they have Grosjean on the books? Ridiculous, still there driving Petrov for his money over various talents so you’d have to assume Fauzy brings a bit of cash. Wonder if he’ll get much time in the car

      Having thrown a bit of a strop over the whole Group vs Racing thing I’ve decided now to enjoy it, every occurance of handbags at dawn will have some humour in it. An I don’t buy this bringing the sport into disrepute thing, half the fans love the sport for it’s mad politics.

      1. Pure narrow minded petty niggle at Fernandes mob, possibly by Bahar or some other suit at Group. I mean, who sign’s Fauzy as reserve drive when they have Grosjean on the books?

        Pretty much sums it up…

      2. I totally agree – I love all the politics; it spices things up. It’s a business, so it’s not only about the racing.

        Some fist fights in the paddock between racers would be good too. I’d like a slow-mo replay of Coulthard getting a tooth knocked out, albeit as a TV presenter now.

    11. At 28, isn’t he a bit old to be in a young driver academy programme?

      1. Di Riesta participated in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi, and he is mid-20s (26 I believe?)

    12. Well, that was a stupid move. When a driver is eight seconds off the pace in a car that is usually only three seconds slow, you don’t promote him to a bigger team. You don’t do anyhting to him; you just let his contract lapse.

      But then, I believe Fauzy may have been at Lotus Racing because of Dany Bahar; Fernandes dropped him faster than a load of bricks the monet Bahar was out of that arrangement.

      1. Spot on. Good luck with your new protegé Renault!

    13. I guess since the third driver wont be doing much testing anyway, I guess it doesn’t hurt for him to have a change of costume. Sacrificing Petrov’s race preparations for a friday test will just be stupid.

    14. I’m afraid this just makes Bahar’s bunch look rather petty…

    15. Bah, my head is hurting already with this Lotus rubbish, and the season hasnt even started! Fauzey hasnt helped things by jumping ship!

      I think at the end of the day I’ll still end up calling Lotus-Renault “Renault” and Team Lotus-Renault as “Lotus”.

      1. Obviously, a team that chose, Heikki and Trulli over wads of cash, probably had Fauzy forced on them. Its not like he is the next big thing. I’d assume this is a relief for them and they can obviously now give a decent younger driver, with promising potential, that test role.

        1. Or just as likley sign up wads of cash in the reserve role. tbf to Lotus, they have exactly what they need, so money for some dude to wear overalls isn’t something they’d bulk at.

    16. They should have had a experience test driver good luck for this guy as he deserve a test role somewhere.& who knows that if Petrov have a hard time then he may replace him.

    17. I think the following stats will clearly convey the motivation behind this brilliant hiring by Group Lotus:

      Head-to-head GP2 results in 2005-06:

      Jose Maria Lopez: 22
      Fairuz Fauzy: 0

      Jose Maria Lopez: 64
      Fairuz Fauzy: 0

      1. Really shows the merits of each driver to get a Renault 3rd driver role. Wasn’t Lopez dumped from their development scheme by Renault after that season?

    18. Yawn! Lotu versus Lotus, is that a comedy show or what?

    19. I had big hopes that Robert Kubica would fight for the WDC but with decisions like these, I think hes going to have to wait until he moves into a better team (hopefully Ferrari).

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