Pattaya Daily News

02 September 2010 :: 15:09:30 pm 37385

Malaysian 16-year-old Formula One’s Youngest Driver

Malaysian teenager Nabil Jaffri became Formula One’s youngest test driver at the age of 16, after being handed the keys for a stint of aerodynamic trials in the U.K. by Lotus-Cosworth on Wednesday.
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United Kingdom, the 1st of September 2010: After being driven to the Duxford airfield by his proud father, Jaffri, still too young to obtain a British driver’s license, conducted a series of straight-line aerodynamic tests for F1 newcomers Lotus.

The Malaysian-owned teams regular number one Finnish driver, Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysian reserve Fairuz Fauzy were present at the test to advise and encourage Jaffri, who is a current Asian Formula BMW series racer and member of the AirAsia ASEAN driver development programme.

Speaking of the experience, Jaffri stated, “I have had an incredible day, one of the best days of my life. I have to admit the first time I went out it was scary. Everyone told me the acceleration would be unbelievable and the braking would be so much greater than anything I’ve ever experienced, and it took a while to get used to that.”

Kovalainen explained that he had informed the youngster to just enjoy the experience and not to concentrate on trying to impress, although he did the later regardless of his efforts. “He did a great job today, he quickly picked up the correct procedures and was working well with the whole team,” said the Finn.

Lotus-Cosworth team principle and AirAsia executive officer, Tony Fernandes explained the decision to use Jaffri in yesterdays trials as the first step in the promising youngsters path to the top.

“When I first offered Nabil the chance to drive our car he couldn’t tell if I was joking or not,” he said. “But I was very serious about giving a young Malaysian the chance to step up to the big time. He’s repaid my faith in him and has performed incredibly well.”

The youngest driver to take part in a grand prix is Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari, who made his debut for Toro Rosso in Hungary last year aged 19 and 125 days.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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