Renault is not ruling out a grand prix debut this year for its new reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy.
The Malaysian, who has switched with the Group Lotus-owning carmaker Proton from Team Lotus for 2011, appeared on the Friday morning at a few grands prix last year.
Closely aligned with Proton, the 28-year-old could be promoted for a race debut towards the end of the season, Lotus Renault GP team boss Eric Boullier reportedly told Malaysia’s Star newspaper.
The report said Frenchman Boullier advised that “if Fairuz did well at some point in time towards the end of the season, he would give him a shot at it”.
“He (Boullier) added that it all depended on Fairuz himself on whether or not he made it as a F1 driver as there were many emerging talent around,” added the Star report.
Boullier said: “He (Fauzy) is being developed and trained for better things with us and is not going to be a passenger. He has potential and we need to work on him to make him mentally and physically ready for such sport.”
Boullier added that the details of Fauzy’s contract are being negotiated now.
Meanwhile, Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin denied that Renault had ‘pinched’ Fauzy from Team Lotus just one year into a five year deal.
“There was no pinching him before his contract expired or any other dealing prior to that. We are all professionals,” he insisted.
© RIF | GMM