The 20-year-old driver will continue to have the support of PETRONAS when he makes his debut in the Formula Renault 3.5 series and takes another step towards his goal of being a Formula One driver. Formula Renault 3.5 is the headline championship of the World Series by Renault weekends and the category is recognised as a feeder series on the ladder to F1, the pinnacle of motor racing.
Jaafar says of today’s announcement, “I’m very excited to be confirming my plans for 2013 and looking forward to lining up on the grid in the World Series by Renault. I’ve had a fantastic year in British F3 and to round off 2012 with this news is amazing. I am so grateful to PETRONAS for their continued support and believing in me. I am very proud to be racing with them as one of the most high profile Malaysian brands in global sport today.”
The PETRONAS Talent Programme driver adds, “I’ve driven the FR3.5 car in the recent tests and really enjoyed the challenge of this new car. It’s more powerful than the F3 car and more advanced technically, so there is a lot for me to learn. I also need to be even fitter and have the right type of fitness for this car as it is quite physical to drive and the races are longer.”
“Staying with Carlin provides me with stability for the challenges ahead. The team is like an extended family; I know how they operate, the high standards that they have and the shared goal of winning that has brought us success and I hope will continue to do so.”
Carlin has a strong history of producing future racing stars, with Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne making the step into Formula 1 directly from Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team.
Jaafar enjoyed a strong, very successful third season in the British F3 International Series in 2012 and was a front-runner right from the first race of the championship through to the finale. Amassing a creditable 306 points, the record books show three wins, 15 podiums and 21 top five finishes for Jaafar from the 29 races which were run in the British F3 championship in 2012. As the young racer enters the next phase of his racing career he moves on to new venues with the World Series by Renault, including the most glamorous, iconic motorsport location – Monaco, where the series supports the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix.
Trevor Carlin said of Jaafar racing with the team this year, “We are delighted and very proud that PETRONAS have chosen to place Jazeman with us again in 2013. We’ve had the pleasure of having him as part of Carlin for the past three seasons and we’ve seen him mature and improve with every year. Jazeman is still very young, but now is the right time for him to make the step up to FR3.5 and based on his performance in testing, I expect him to improve even further in his rookie season in the series.”
“I’m looking forward to driving on some new tracks like Monaco and Moscow and returning to some of my favourite European ones, including Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring and Catalunya,” says Jaafar. “Before we get started with the racing there will be more testing as well, so I’ll be able to put in some preparation before reaching the opening round in Spain at the end of April. It’s great to be able to plan well in advance and put in the pre-season work needed to be ready for that first race”.