Fairuz Fauzy has set his sights on landing a full-time race seat next season, and will use the end of his role as test driver with Lotus Racing/Team Lotus as a catalyst to do so.
The Malaysian enjoyed sporadic outings in Friday free practice with Tony Fernandes' team in 2010 but, having raced in both GP2 and World Series by Renault in recent seasons, finishing as runner-up in the latter last year, knows that it is time to either establish himself in the top flight or reset his ambitions. Whatever happens, he insists that his goal is a full campaign somewhere and, despite revealing that he has received offers from rival F1 teams for 2011, is looking beyond the category for his return to racing.
"Regrettably, we received an official notification last week from Lotus Racing that Fairuz's contract has been prematurely terminated without reason," manager Haji Fauzy confirmed, "We respect the decision but, as Fairuz's driver development programme began 25 years ago, we are determined and committed to pursue his career goal as a professional driver. We are now looking at all avenues to fit him as a full-time race driver in an international racing series of the same stature, but of course F1 is our main priority."
In the remote possibility that Fauzy is offered a full-time seat in F1, it would be with the likes of backmarker HRT, which currently has two vacancies, rather than a team higher up the field, but several test and development roles remain available which he could conceivably fill, notably at the Lotus-Renault team, which is now 25 per cent owned by Malaysian carmaker Proton.
It is unclear which series he believes could be of 'the same stature' to the top flight, but the resurgent IndyCar Series could be a consideration.
"Fairuz's willpower is now stronger than ever, and he looks forward to determinedly achieve his ultimate career goal sooner, rather than later, in F1," read the final line of the statement confirming his exit from Lotus Racing.