Lotus F1 Team drivers for 2010 season, Jarno Trulli (L) and Heiki Kovalainen (R).

Lotus F1 Team drivers for 2010 season, Jarno Trulli (L) and Heiki Kovalainen (R).

Sport Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek announced Malaysia’s Team Lotus F1 has named Italian Jarno Trulli and Finland’s Heikki Kovalainen as its drivers for its debut season in Formula One next year.

The team third driver is Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy. Jarno Trulli, 35 made his debut in Formula One with Minardi in 1997, and then transfers to Prost after Olivier Panis is injured. Finishes ninth in the drivers’ championship having won three points at the German Grand Prix for his new team.

The newly-announced drivers for Lotus F1 team, (right to left) Jarno Trulli, Fairuz Fauzi, and Heikki Kovalainen, share a light moment with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Chik and team principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes. (Photo: Reuters)

The newly-announced drivers for Lotus F1 team, (right to left) Jarno Trulli, Fairuz Fauzi, and Heikki Kovalainen, share a light moment with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Chik and team principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes. (Photo: Reuters)

He was left without a car when Toyota decided to quit Formula One in November and rounds off the season nicely with a second-place finish in Japan – sits above Alonso in driver standings at 8-position.

Finn’s Heikki Kovalainen, 28 debut as Renault third driver in 2006 and promoted to become the team driver in 2007 where he beat his more experienced team mate – Giancarlo Fisichella. However he was struggling against his much younger – one time world champion Lewis Hamilton last season at McLaren.

Finishes 12th overall in the standings, 27 points adrift of Hamilton – he was eventually dumped by McLaren.