Nabil Jeffri Becomes F1’s Youngest Driver – The teenage Malaysian Nabil Jeffri becomes the youngest test driver in Formula One history when he drove a Lotus T127 on a runway at the UK’s Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambrigeshire. He drove 1.5-kilometer straight line.
Jeffri said: “It was unbelievable. It’s super fast. You can’t even see a thing. The acceleration and the braking are very different.”
Less than a year ago, he caught the eye of Lotus Racing’s team boss, Tony Fernandes, while he was sitting behind the wheel of a go-kart back in Malaysia. At that time, he was looking for sponsorship to enter Formula BMW, which is a single seater racing class for juniors. Jeffri impressed Fernandes very much that he made him an offer on the spot.
The Lotus Racing’s team boss said “I can see that he has the right character, the right aptitude and the right intellectual level to go very far. e’s got a very good down-to-earth nature about himself. And I think humility is a key ingredient in dealing with success.”
Jeffri keeps his sights on securing a Formula One drive by the time he reaches 21. And at the age of 23, he’s positive that he can win the world title, the same age Lewis Hamilton was when he became Formula One’s youngest-ever world champion in 2008.
Jeffri is currently part of AirAsia ASEAN driver development program, which Fernandes set up to nurture young talent in Asia. Fernandes wants to use his involvementin the sport to give young people in Malaysia and Southeast Asia the confidence to believe that they can become world champions.