Malaysian racer Jazeman Jaafar has joined Formula Renault 3.5 squad ISR for what will be his second season in the Formula One feeder category.
After claiming a podium in Monaco last season, Jaafar is keen to push for the title with the Czech squad, yet while the 21-year-old displayed plenty of flair on occasion, his season was also peppered with some difficult moments.
The Petronas sport backed racer tested with ISR late last year and according to Jaafar, the rapport was immediately apparent. “I quickly gelled with the team, felt comfortable in the car and had a very productive day. Since then, we’ve had a number of meetings and developed a clear strategy for the year ahead,” said the Kuala Lumpur native.
It was a sentiment echoed by ISR team boss Igor Salaquarda. “Jazeman quickly made a very good impression with everyone at the team at last year’s test, with his positive attitude, great work ethic and a steely determination, and we saw just how quick he can be as well.”
For ISR, the Czech squad will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes following a patchy 2013 season. With a graduate list that includes Daniel Ricciardo, Sam Bird and Esteban Guerrieri in the past, there is some pressure for Jaafar to succeed.
Yet with the hard work beginning in earnest soon, Jaafar appears delighted to have this detail in place. “It’s great to have my plans finalised early in the year so that I can focus on my second season of Formula Renault 3.5 and be as well prepared as I can be ahead of the first race.” He concluded, “We have a series of pre-season tests ahead so this will give me time to build a strong relationship with the team personnel and start to develop the car ready for the opening round in Monza in April.”
His seat at ISR confirmed, Jaafar also maintains his place in the junior ranks of the Mercedes Formula One team, having run three times with the Anglo-German squad last year, including a full driver evaluation test at Silverstone in November.