Malaysia is set to have its second-ever F1 driver in 2016 – Jazeman Jaafar has been offered a race seat with one of the Mercedes-powered teams in Formula One next season, The Star reports.
Aside from reigning world champions Mercedes AMG, the company also supplies engines to three other teams – Force India, Lotus and Williams. It was not reported which of these three the 22-year-old will be driving for.
“This is the pinnacle of motorsports. I’ve got an offer to do a full season next year. I’m ready to take it up a notch – my results over the last few years speak for themselves,” Jazeman said.
The move to F1 will cost him a fair bit though. Jazeman, who obtained his FIA Super Licence in Portugal last September, will have to secure his own sponsorship backing in order for the dream to become reality. The report adds that on the average, a driver will need an annual budget of around 15 million euros (RM63 million) per season.
“This kind of opportunity only comes once. I may not get the chance next time. It’s all about having the funding to make it happen and that’s something I hope the relevant parties can come in and support me,” he said.
Jazeman began competitive racing in 2006, starting off in the Formula Renault Asia series before progressing on to Formula BMW Asia the following year, where emerged as champion at the end of the season.
In 2010, he made the switch to the British Formula Three championship, competing in the series until 2012. He finished as runner-up in the championship that season. Since 2013, he has been racing in Formula Renault 3.5, and in May this year notched his first win in the series at Monaco.