Team Lotus confirms test and reserve driver line-up
Lotus announce a reserve driver trio of Davide Valsecchi, Luiz Razia and Ricardo Teixeira
Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi will combine their GP2 Team AirAsia commitments with official roles at Team Lotus for the forthcoming 2011 F1 season.
Luiz Razia, 21, joins as the Anglo-Malaysian team’s reserve and test driver, with 2010 GP2 Asia Series champion Davide Valsecchi, 24, joining as test driver.
Ricardo Teixeira, who tested with the team during the 2011 pre-season, also joins the team as a second test driver “to continue his long-term development program with the team and is “proud” to be the first Angolan in F1.
“We are very pleased to have confirmed that Luiz, Davide and Ricardo will all be extending their relationships with the Team Lotus family by filling the roles of Third Driver and Test Drivers respectively for the 2011 season,” said Team Lotus CEO Riad Asmat.
“Luiz and Davide’s efforts have helped Team AirAsia enjoy a very strong start to its debut season and their roles with Team Lotus will give them invaluable experience of the highest level of global motorsport which will help their natural talents develop in the right direction.
“Ricardo has already learnt a huge amount from his two runs in our car in pre-season testing and we are very excited about seeing Luiz, Davide and Ricardo continue to grow with us throughout 2011 and beyond and the whole team is looking forward to working with them.”
Razia, who was reserve driver with Virgin Racing for 2010, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have confirmed my role as Third Driver for Team Lotus.
“Both Team Lotus and Team AirAsia have very exciting futures ahead and now I also have an excellent chance to build on my F1 experience.
“I’ve been able to bring that experience to the GP2 championship already and I’m sure that with the calibre of people involved in both Team AirAsia and Team Lotus we will achieve success very soon and be challenging for points, podiums and race wins whenever possible.”
Razia and Valsecchi will both take part in a number of Friday practice sessions at selected races, while the team is also working on other exciting driver-related projects to be announced during the season.
Davide Valsecchi added: “I am so happy to be part of both Team Lotus and Team AirAsia this season.
“They are both fantastic teams with a great amount of experience and I will learn a huge amount, on and off track. I’m excited about the Friday practice sessions ahead and I’ll do my best to help Team Lotus keep moving forward and absorb as much as I can from the F1 team.”