2 Sep 2010

Malaysian to become youngest F1 test driver

9:38 am on 2 September 2010

The Malaysian Nabil Jeffri has become Formula One's youngest test driver at the age of 16, after being driven to the track by his proud father.

Jaffri, still too young to take a driving test in Britain or drive on the public roads, conducted a day of straight line aerodynamic testing for F1 newcomers Lotus on an airfield runway in Duxford, eastern England.

The Malaysian-owned team's regular race driver Heikki Kovalainen and Malaysian reserve Fairuz Fauzy were also present to advise the teenager.

Kovalainen says he told the youngster to just enjoy the experience and not get stressed about trying to impress.

Team principal Tony Fernandes, who also runs the AirAsia airline, says the test was just a first step on the path to the top.

Alex Yoong remains the only Malaysian to have raced in Formula One, with Minardi between 2001-02 without scoring a point.

The youngest driver to take part in a grand prix is Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari, who made his debut for Toro Rosso in Hungary last year aged 19 and 125 days.