Jazeman Jaafar is to get the opportunity to sample F1 machinery for the first time when he takes part in a demonstration for Mercedes ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix next month.
Jaafar, who moves into Formula Renault 3.5 this season after finishing as runner-up in British F3 last year, will sharing driving duties with Mercedes development driver Sam Bird for the event, which will see the pair drive the car around the famous Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur.
“It's difficult to describe the emotions I had when I was told by Petronas that I would be given the chance to drive the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team,” the Malaysian said. “I'm happy, excited, proud and impatient for 17th March! I am very grateful to Petronas for their support and putting their faith in me to put on a good show at this special event.
“As there won't be an opportunity for me to drive the car before the KL event, I'm preparing by working with the team on the simulator alongside my Renault 3.5 Series programme, but to be making my 'F1 driving debut' behind the wheel in front of a home crowd will be just totally awesome.”
Jaafar added that he was sure the chance to take part in the demonstration event would only increase his desire to make the move up to F1 in the future.
“I'm only 20-years-old and I've been racing in single-seaters for six years, working my way up the ladder of racing categories, learning, improving, experiencing more technical and more powerful cars,” he said. “I am capable of driving an F1 car within the parameters of a demonstration run and really looking forward to it, but it will be a couple of years before I can consider looking for a full-time race driving position in F1. I'm sure that this 'taster' of driving an F1 car will add to my determination to reach F1 and it will be an amazing experience.”