F1

Lotus involves Malaysian gov't and carmaker Proton

The new 'Lotus F1' team, cleared by the FIA to make its debut in 2010, involves the Malaysian government and the country's national car maker, Proton. Coinciding with the announcement on Tuesday, Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul...

The new 'Lotus F1' team, cleared by the FIA to make its debut in 2010, involves the Malaysian government and the country's national car maker, Proton.

Coinciding with the announcement on Tuesday, Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak posed for photographs in the government headquarters with figures for the project including those involved with the local airline AirAsia.

"We are also now evaluating the qualifications and suitability of six short-listed drivers both local and international, and we hope to officially introduce you to our two drivers by October 31," the prime minister told local media.

Lotus is an iconic British sports and racing car maker, but it is currently owned by Malaysia's Proton. "Hopefully we can hear the Malaysian national anthem being played one day," the PM Najib added.

Lotus' initial F1 headquarters will be in Norfolk (UK) but the PM said eventually the team's cars will be designed, made and tested at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur.

"It will all be made in Malaysia, and made by Malaysians," he said, adding that even the pit crew will be made up of Malaysians despite being led by the British F1 technical expert Mike Gascoyne.

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