Jean Alesi puts the Lotus Type 125 through its paces at Vallelunga

Last week Lotus announced former F1 driver Jean Alesi as a brand ambassador for the Type 125 programme, Lotus’ exclusive ultra high performance F1 inspired customer race-car. Following the Autosport Show, Alesi headed over to Italy to test out the Type 125 in preparation for its wealthy potential buyers.

If you’re new to the Type 125 story, then it’s worth you reading Joe Saward’s recent blog post, “Bahar not expecting to go to court”, where he explores where the Lotus Type 125 car came from. The reason why his insight is interesting is because Group Lotus no longer posseses the resources to build racing cars, having sold the facility to 1Malaysia Racing. Joe speculates that the Type 125 may in fact be related to the Panoz DP01, which was built in 2007 for Champ Car series, then redeveloped to suit the purpose of the Type 125 which will now be sold to customers for $950,000 each.

The Type 125, had its first official run out at the Italian track earlier this week as F1 legend Jean Alesi and Lotus factory driver James Rossiter completed over 200 kilometres during the two day test.

Commenting on the test, Lotus’ Director of Motorsport Operations, Miodrag Kotur said: “We’re very happy with the initial performance of the car, there are still some things that we want to improve on but that’s natural at this stage and that’s exactly why we test. Between them Jean Alesi and James Rossiter have an incredible wealth of experience and they put this to good use in Vallelunga.”

Jean Alesi with the Lotus Type 125 at last week's Autosport Show.

Lotus Type 125 Ambassador Jean Alesi said: “Testing is always a big challenge, it’s a different kind of pressure to racing but you still can’t relax for a second. I enjoyed my first outing in the car, it’s great to be involved at such a crucial stage in the cars’ development, I really feel like I can help to make this car as fun to drive as possible.”

Lotus factory driver James Rossiter said: “The Type 125 is unique, it’s intense, it’s extreme and it’s very raw. I can honestly say that I think it’s the closest a ‘normal’ person can get to driving an F1 car. Vallelunga was great, we learnt a lot about the car there and I’m really looking forward to the next test in a few days, it will be really interesting to see how the car responds to the conditions of a very different track.”

Next week (25th and 26th January) the Type 125 will test at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi’s F1 track, where Alesi and Rossiter will be joined by a very special ‘yet-to-be-announced’ test driver before 15 potential buyers get their chance behind the wheel.