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Trulli and Kovalainen confirmed at Lotus for 2010 14 Dec 2009

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren and Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 2 November 2008 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota celebrates his second position on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 4 October 2009 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 27 August 2009 Fairuz Fauzy (MAL) Spyker test driver. Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, Day One, Monday 19 February 2007. World © Sutton Tony Fernandes (MAL), CEO Air Asia. Motorsport Business Forum Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Day One, Wednesday 9 December 2009.

The new Lotus Formula One team confirmed on Monday that Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will form their race line-up for 2010, with Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy taking on the role of test and reserve driver.

Former Monaco Grand Prix victor Trulli has spent the past five seasons racing for Toyota, whole Kovalainen, also an F1 race winner, moves from McLaren after losing his seat to new world champion Jenson Button.

The appointment of Trulli, Kovalainen and Fauzy to the Malaysian-backed team was made formal in an official announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, at which all three drivers were present, along with team principal Tony Fernandes.

35-year-old Trulli is regarded as one of the most experienced and consistent F1 racers and one of the fastest men over a single lap. The Italian, who made his Formula One debut with Minardi in 1997, has also finished in the top ten of the drivers' championship on seven occasions.

"It is a privilege for me to sign for the new Lotus F1 Racing team,” said Trulli. “I have been impressed by the long-term vision of the team management and technical staff. Tony has set out very ambitious plans and I am ready to help the team achieve these high targets. I am also pleased to be back working alongside (team technical boss) Mike Gascoyne, someone with whom I have enjoyed previous success at other teams. I get on very well with him and I respect his working style. Lotus is a truly iconic and inspirational brand and it is great that the name is back in Formula 1. We will be hoping to draw inspiration from the heritage of Lotus for our team.

"I am also delighted to be racing alongside Heikki, someone who I have enjoyed racing against since 2007, and someone else, like me, who brings valuable experience from his time with two of Formula One's most established teams. I believe that together, we are among the most competitive pairings on the grid, and we will be determined to bring success to Lotus F1 Racing to repay the faith that Tony and the team have shown in us."

Kovalainen’s F1 career began in 2006 when he made his debut as a Renault test driver. His appointment to Lotus will see the 28 year-old Finn, who won the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2008, starting his fourth Formula One season.

"It's fantastic to be joining Lotus F1 Racing and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead,” he said. “I recently visited our factory in Norfolk, UK, and was so impressed by seeing how far the team has come in such a short time since it was launched in September, and by how determined everyone is to meet Tony's ambitious targets. I knew immediately it would be a fantastic opportunity to help them achieve their goals.

"I believe that appointing two drivers with the experience Jarno and I have shows how determined the team is to go racing in a truly competitive way, and our pairing sends out a very strong message to our competitors."

27-year-old Malaysia Fauzy joins the team having previously held a Formula One testing role for the Spyker squad back in 2007. Since then he has driven in the F1 feeder series GP2, the World Series by Renault, as well as being named as lead driver for Malaysia's involvement in the A1GP championship.

“To have the chance to join Malaysia's first fully fledged Formula One team is very special for me and the highlight of my career so far,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with Jarno and Heikki on developing the car and the team in our first season together in Formula 1. I am sure we can do Malaysia as a nation proud, as well as upholding the tradition of such a legendary F1 name such as Lotus.”

Commenting on the appointments, team principal Tony Fernandes said: "I am thrilled that we have been able to sign Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz to drive for Lotus F1 Racing in our debut season. The appointment of Jarno, Heikki and Fairuz as our race drivers is a testament to the quality of our team, to our ambition and drive, and above all to our long-term vision of success in Formula One.

“Jarno and Heiki are winners and have proven track records in Formula One, and will be a big asset to us as we look to develop the team and the car throughout 2010. Jarno and Heikki are two extremely versatile drivers who have proven themselves more than capable of achieving solid results no matter how tough the conditions. Having Fairuz on board is also great news. He is undoubtedly the best Malaysian senior driver at the moment and it is a pleasure to welcome him into Malaysia's Formula One team.

“We only secured our 2010 entry from the FIA in September and already we have our first car in production and have signed two Formula One race winners to drive for us, as well as a home-grown Malaysian driver. Not bad for three months' hard work! There is more to come from us and we head into the holiday period buoyed by what we have accomplished already but inspired to push the boundaries yet further."