Lotus test driver to get taste of the big time in Malaysia

Heikki Kovalainen will give up his drive in the first free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday to local boy Fairuz Fauzy. With the Formula One circus moving on to Kuala Lumpur just seven days after Sunday's thrilling Australian Grand Prix, Kovalainen lost his seat on the toss of a coin with team-mate Jarno Trulli.

Heikki Kovalainen will give up his drive in the first free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday to local boy Fairuz Fauzy.

With the Formula One circus moving on to Kuala Lumpur just seven days after Sunday's thrilling Australian Grand Prix, Kovalainen lost his seat on the toss of a coin with team-mate Jarno Trulli.

With the first Friday session now open to a team's reserve driver, Fauzy will get the opportunity on his home circuit - which will host Lotus' official home race of the calendar.

Similar to the role Scottish driver Paul di Resta took for Force India in Australia, Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne proposed tossing a coin to decide whose place Fauzy would take during the morning session.


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And Trulli will no doubt be relieved he won the toss after missing the start of Sunday's race with a late hydraulics issue.

Meanwhile, team principal Tony Fernandes has denied he has too many eggs in one basket to ensure the success of his Formula One venture.

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The Malaysian entrepreneur, who is the hands-on owner of low-cost Malaysian airline AirAsia as well as a chain of hotels through his Tune Group, arrived in the Melbourne paddock three days after the other team bosses.

Fernandes, 45, is currently en route to South Africa, despite the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend starting in three days.

But he told the Financial Times: "Just because one person might only be able to do one thing at a time doesn't mean all of us are the same.

"I can run an F1 team and run an airline, and ultimately what I'm doing is setting up businesses and putting other people in there to run them. Lotus is no different."

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