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Adderly Fong named as Lotus development driver

Jordan Adcock

100RPM
Oct 27, 2014
188
392
27
Adderly Fong Lotus F1 Development Driver.jpg

Hong Kong driver Adderly Fong has been announced as Lotus F1 Team’s latest development driver, but already the move has been met with some derision.


Fong already tested a 2012-spec Sauber in October last year, and was their third driver at last year’s Abu Dhabi season finale. The 25 year-old driver has raced in British Formula 3, GP3 and also in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, but without seeing much success in any of them. Fong will continue in GP3 this season with Finnish team Korainen GP.

The deal follows Carmen Jordá’s controversial signing as development driver to the Enstone squad, having only finished as high as 13th after three years in GP3. Fong only has one points finish to his name from the series, raising suspicions that both were signed for the money they would bring to the team, whose financial issues have been much discussed, rather than driving talent.

Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle has been quoted by Speed Week as saying about the move: "Of course it would be good to have a Chinese driver in Formula One. But the fact is Fong has been hired for his money." Even Taki Inoue, himself ridiculed as a “pay driver” in the mid-1990s, remarked on his Twitter feed that "It seems bank account development driver is getting popular in F1 presumably."

In a statement, Fong made his aims clear: "I am happy but I am not going to get carried away, for this is only the first of many steps.

"I aim to become the first Chinese driver to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix which will assist to promote the sport in China and also in Hong Kong. There is great potential for me with Lotus F1 Team so I can't wait to get underway in my new role."

Fong and Jordá are joining Lotus alongside Jolyon Palmer, who is the team's official reserve driver.
 

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Staff member
Premium
Dec 26, 2006
46,239
19,777
I applaud the first team that tells the truth that they have hired a "marketing driver" to strengthen the team.

If teams would be truly interested in developing their cars they would hire an ex-F1 pilot with tons of experience who can contribute in bringing the team forward.
 

ivaneurope

25RPM
Aug 13, 2011
46
3
I applaud the first team that tells the truth that they have hired a "marketing driver" to strengthen the team.

If teams would be truly interested in developing their cars they would hire an ex-F1 pilot with tons of experience who can contribute in bringing the team forward.
Said no one ever - experienced F1 drivers want to race, not to be part of a gimmick, called "development driver"
 

Chris Jenkins

Driving til the wheels fall off
Oct 13, 2010
2,562
515
So just to be clear, neither of Lotus's "Development" drivers stand any realistic chance of obtaining a Super License?

That's all
 

Jordan Adcock

100RPM
Oct 27, 2014
188
392
27
@Chris Jenkins No, unless either driver could suddenly do really well in GP3 (and even then only Fong is confirmed to race right now). To put into perspective, becoming champion would gain them 30 of the required 40 points for a superlicence.
 

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