Strategic affiliation for long-term driver
development strategy towards eventual World
Lotus F1 Racing today announced more senior
appointments as it gears up for its debut season
in the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Mia Sharizman Ismail, currently CEO of the
Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM), will
be joining Lotus F1 Racing as its Head of
Operations (Asia). He will oversee selected
areas of the team's operations that include
promoting and nurturing alliances with
motorsports bodies in the region. Mia Sharizman
is also tasked with understudying the Lotus F1
race operations currently based in the UK with
the aim of transferring knowledge and expertise
back to Malaysia.
At the same time, as part of its efforts to
develop a full-fledged young driver programme
for its future development, Lotus F1 Racing have
also appointed former Malaysian F1 driver Alex
Yoong as Head of Driver Development (Asia)
alongside Nino Judge, the Team Principal of the
UK-based Litespeed Formula 3 team, as Head of
Driver Development (Europe).
Yoong and Judge will co-head Lotus F1 Racing's
driver development programme that aims at
nurturing up-and-coming driving talent in
Malaysia as well as the Asian region and Europe.
The programme is via an affiliation with
Litespeed which have over 25 years experience
running racing outfits at varying levels.
Lotus F1 Racing Team Principal Dato' Sri Tony
Fernandes said: "These new senior appointments
will be a great boost for Lotus F1 Racing. The
team have achieved many important milestones and
we are on track to be on the grid in Bahrain
next year. We are very excited with the new
driver development programme as we look to the
future and plan long-term strategy to eventually
become world champion."
Lotus F1 Racing CEO Riad Asmat said: "The young
driver development scheme will play a key role
in finding and developing future Malaysian
drivers and it is great that Litespeed can play
such an important role in that process. There is
a lot of raw motorsport talent in Malaysia and
as the country's national Formula 1 team, it is
our responsibility to bring that to the fore. We
have to encourage more parents to get their
children into karting but the most crucial step
is a direction and stage for our national
karting talent to go next. Lotus F1 Racing's
driver development programme will serve as a
ladder for those Malaysian rising stars to reach
their full potential and even Formula 1."
Nino Judge, Lotus F1 Racing Head of Driver
Development (Europe) and Litespeed UK Team
Principal said: "It is an honour for Litespeed
to be affiliated with the Lotus F1 Racing team.
Even before they have competed in their first
race, they are laying important foundations for
the future, of which we are thrilled to play a
part. We can provide an important platform for
both experienced drivers and up and coming
Malaysian drivers to progress their careers.
Many Formula 1 stars have made their name racing
in Formula 3, so we can give the rare
opportunity to young Malaysians to hone their
talents in a competitive European series and to
allow them to fulfil their full potential.
Ultimately this may also mean an F1 test for any
exceptionally talented drivers competing in the
British F3 Championship with Litespeed. This,
combined with the benefits Litespeed will
receive from technical collaboration with the
Lotus F1 Racing team, makes this an extremely
Lotus F1 Racing is operated by 1Malaysia Racing
Team Sdn Bhd.
The team are placed 18th and 19th in the full
entry list of constructors and drivers announced
by the FIA on 30 November. Lotus F1 Racing are
still in talks with potential drivers and will
make an announcement soon.
Announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak in September 2009,
Lotus F1 Racing will be one the new additions to
the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2010 and
will bring the legendary Lotus name back into
Formula 1 for the first time in over 15 years.
Lotus F1 Racing will be flying the Malaysian
flag in the championship with full support from
the Malaysian Government and its 1Malaysia
initiative. The team is fully financed by
Malaysian entrepreneurs, which gives the team a
strong Malaysian character throughout all areas
of its operation.
Commenting on their appointments...
Mia Sharizman, Head of Operations (Asia) said:
"I am delighted with this appointment. I look
forward to contributing to the team's growth and
achieving its targets. I share the enthusiasm
and optimism of the team to see the Lotus F1
cars on the grid in Bahrain in March 2010.
Together we will strive to ensure its progress
and success. I see this as a very steep learning
curve but we will prove that Malaysians too can
compete on the world stage."
Alex Yoong, Head of Driver Development (Asia)
said: "I am very pleased to be joining Lotus F1,
as it is a team with an exciting future. There
is so much talent here in this region, and I am
looking forward to the challenge of identifying
and grooming these young drivers so that one day
Malaysia and Asia have a Formula 1 world