Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy has been signed by the Lotus-backed Renault team as the outfit’s reserve driver, it has been announced.Fairuz Fauzy

The news comes as something or a surprise to us, for Fauzy participated in several rounds for the Tony Fernandes owned Lotus Racing team in Friday practice, winding up considerably slowest in each outing.

So what is Group Lotus Renault aiming for with his signing?

Fauzy was released by Lotus Racing after a single year of a five-year agreement (rather paralleling how it lost is naming rights deal with Group Lotus), but has now followed Group Lotus as it teams up with the Renault F1 team as a title sponsor and major shareholder.

“I would like to thank Lotus Renault for giving me this opportunity and to be part of this team,” Fauzy said when the announcement was made.

“It is a great team. I will try my best to hopefully be in a race seat one day.”

So is Fauzy’s signing part of Group Lotus’ strategy to draw more support from Malaysia?

Looking at Fauzy’s results on paper, this seemingly flies in the face of Renault sounding off about it wanting to be a more credible outfit in 2011 and to dodge the perception that it was a nesting area for pay drivers. One doubts that this announcement will do anything to dispel popular perception.

The Malaysian will contest the 2011 GP2 season with Super Nova Racing.

[Original image via Fairuz Fauzy]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.