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Lotus signs its first driver

NEWS STORY
14/11/2009

Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes has revealed that the team has signed its first driver, however, he omitted to give any clues as to who it might be.

"One Malaysia Formula One team a.k.a. Lotus has signed its first driver," he announced on Twitter. "Public announcement soon. The dream continues," he added.

A number of drivers have been linked with the team, which has backing from the Malaysia government, including Jacques Villeneuve, Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and Heikki Kovalainen. Fairuz Fauzy has been linked with a test role, while Russian GP2 hot-shot Vitaly Petrov has also been mentioned in connection with a race seat.

On Friday, Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, revealed that the Lotus tub has already passed its internal crash tests.

In addition to a side impact test a nose box test was also carried out, both meeting the FIA's requirements.

"During the nose box crash test, the majority of the nose was destroyed but the vertical white line which must remain intact after the impact was unscathed," Bernama reported.

The official mandatory crash tests will be carried out once the first chassis is finished, with the team scheduled to make its test debut at Sepang in February.

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