Despite the departure of Fairuz Fauzy opening a potential door to F1 aspirants at Team Lotus, the Hingham-based squad has said that it will look to its newly-formed GP2 Series squad for replacements.
Fauzy recently revealed that he was shown the door by Tony Fernandes' team after just a single year of his contract [see story here
], but the ambitious squad will not look to replace the Malaysian with an experienced pilot in 2011, instead aiming to provide a platform for up-and-coming talent.
The announcement will also make Team AirAsia a more attractive proposition in its maiden GP2 campaign, where all teams will start from an equal footing with the new GP2/11 chassis.
"The GP2 drivers will be test and reserve drivers," a Team Lotus spokesman told Reuters
, "There will be two guys who will be given that opportunity to bridge the gap [between GP2 and F1]."
While Fernandes' Team Lotus operation, which raced in 2010 as Lotus Racing and faces a court appearance before it can official adopt its new moniker, and the recently-announced Lotus-Renault team born from Group Lotus' owner Proton buying a 25 per cent stake in the former Renault outfit go head-to-head in the top flight, there will also be an on-track rivalry in GP2 as Group Lotus engineered a tie-up with frontrunner ART Grand Prix.
Rodolfo Gonzalez and Vladimir Arabadzhiev tested for Lotus Racing at the recent Abu Dhabi 'young driver' sessions, but no decision has yet been made on Team AirAsia's GP2 line-up.