Adderly Fong, Sauber, Yas Marina, 2014

Adderly Fong joins Lotus as development driver

2015 F1 season

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Adderly Fong, Sauber, Yas Marina, 2014Lotus has appointed Adderly Fong as a development driver for the 2015 season.

The 25-year-old tested for Sauber at Yas Marina at the end of last season. He will drive for Koiranen in GP3 this year, having started eight races for Jenzer last season, and will also drive for Bentley in the GT Asia series.

Fong won the Asia-based Audi R8 LMS Cup in 2013 and made his Le Mans debut last year driving an LMP2 Ligier for Oak.

He said his role with Lotus is “a great opportunity to further my racing career”.

“I am happy but I am not going to get carried away, for this is only the first of many steps,” he added. “I aim to become the first Chinese driver to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix which will assist to promote the sport in China and also in Hong Kong.”

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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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31 comments on “Adderly Fong joins Lotus as development driver”

  1. I am sure that his money will help Lotus to develop the car so he will undoubtedly be an excellent development driver.

    1. Sam Van Put (@)
      24th March 2015, 9:01

      Although I agree it’s probably money talking but we should stimulate drivers from Asia as that’s a big market and has several races.

    2. Yep, they need a lot of people driving development like this to be competative in current F1

  2. Couldn’t agree more, how a driver can ‘develope’ F1 car without any experience of racing one is beyond me!

  3. I just hope Lotus did not sign, and won’t do so during the season, any agreements with drivers asking for extra cash in return for a seat for next year :-o

  4. This sort of announcement has become the current-day equivalent of a team announcing a new sponsor.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      24th March 2015, 12:15

      @mazdachris, something like high stakes crowd funding!

  5. Carmen Jorda and Adderly Fong may be cashed and may be not the most talented, but they might just be the right drivers for the role they now have, but then again, I could be wrong. It will only become a serious issue for Lotus when they decide to sign Konstantin Tereschenko or Ricardo Teixeira (or both).

  6. If wonder if Ricardo Teixeira and Ryan Cullen are also in the pipeline? Roman Mavlanov? Sebastian Balthasar?

    1. LOL!

      I wonder if Lotus is about to back a 3 cars team as the cure for the reduced grid we have currently…

  7. Perhaps the most annoying thing about this particular chap is that he is set to spend 2015 soiling a Koiranen car that is perhaps the best on the GP3 grid.

    1. @countrygent He must be getting Jorda/Stoneman’s car then…

      1. @fastiesty It must be the one that breaks down if you drive it quickly more than two weekends per year…

    2. He’s getting Santi Urrutia’s car. Poor kid has gone to the Pro Mazda Series because the government and local sponsors reduced his already small backing. He won several races in F3 Open and raced wheel to wheel with Eriksson in Hungary, but money talks.

  8. While I like the fact that Lotus have yet another development driver, it strikes me as being a bit puzzling that Sauber didn’t think to implement this kind of “development driver” program to help with their cash flow issues. While I am not 100% sure that GvdG would have signed up as a development driver if he knew a drive was out the question, however, I’m sure that suitable other arrangements could have been made on Sauber’s part to avoid signing 3 drivers to a team with 2 cars.

    1. @dragoll: Sauber still doesn’t have a proper simulator, if I recall. so their way for develop the car is rather limited with windtunnel, CFD, and actual testing. that’s a shame because a good simulator can be a good investment media like what Lotus showed nowadays.

  9. Yet another trolly to the lolly..

  10. It sounds like the Lotus simulator is like an arcade machine; they need to keep putting the coins in to keep playing.

  11. I wonder what the hourly rate is. I am sure many people would not mind spending a few euros to be an F1 development driver for a few hours, it should look good on CV.
    They might even let you sit in their simulator and have a picture taken for an extra fee.

    I hope Lotus people are not reading this, or next they will put up an on-line reservation and ticket-selling system :-).

    1. You might be on to something here…I sense a business opportunity.

  12. The Enstone team have regularly had multiple development drivers at the same-time ever since Renault sold the team on.

    I should imagine that most of them have been restricted to simulator work and/or the occasional demo run of car already a couple of years old on demo tyres. I would be surprised if any of them actually got to drive a current car.

    That would have been reserved for the actual reserve drivers, recent examples being Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean, Davide Valschecci and now Joylon Palmer.

  13. Is it that Sauber have improved financially and do not need Fong’s moneybag anymore or is it that Lotus have fallen behind Sauber financially and need Fong’s moneybag to push them upwards?

  14. Well at least he managed to score a point in GP3…

  15. Well….. I guess it’s nice to see a Canadian on an F1 team again? LOL!

  16. Michael Brown
    24th March 2015, 16:19

    Dear Lotus,
    It still isn’t April Fool’s Day

  17. Is there a reason very poor drivers seem to have a lot of financial backing?

    Surely it would make more business sense to put your money behind a talented driver?

    1. The thing is, the poor ones WITHOUT backing are those that never get even close to GP3, or maybe not even to F3 THOMF1S.

  18. People criticising the appointments of Fong and Jorda seem to have short memories. Drivers previously on Lotus’s books have included such racing juggernauts as Fairuz Fauzy, Jan Charouz and Ho-Pin Tung, and none of them ended up on the starting grid, so I don’t see that there’s anything amiss here.

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