Arabadzhiev and Gonzalez handed Lotus tests

2011 F1 testing

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Lotus will tests drivers from Bulgaria and Venezuela in the young drivers’ session at Abu Dhabi next week.

Bulgarian Vladimir Arabadzhiev and Venezuela’s Rodolfo Gonzalez will take to the track in the Lotus T127.

Both have been racing in the GP2 championship this year. Arabadzhiev, who has also raced in Auto GP, has started every race this year but is yet to score. He has a best finish of ninth in the Valencia sprint race.

He has been replaced by Brendon Hartley at the Coloni team as of this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi.

Gonzalez, who drives for Arden, is 21st in the series with four points. Countryman Pastor Maldonado will also be testing for HRT and Williams.

No Bulgarian has ever competed in Formula 1 and the last Venezuelan to appear at a race weekend was Ernesto Viso, who drove for Midland in practice for the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lotus Racing chief executive officer Riad Asmat said:

We are very pleased to have confirmed that Rodolfo and Vladimir will be driving for us in Abu Dhabi. They both come from countries with growing interest in motorsport, and the chance to give emerging drivers the opportunity to step up to Formula One is central to the Lotus Racing philosophy of embracing young talent.

Everyone in the team is looking forward to working with them over the two day test and I am delighted we could give them this opportunity.
Riad Asmat

Read more: 2011 F1 testing dates confirmed

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Arabadzhiev and Gonzalez handed Lotus tests”

  1. Slightly left field aren’t they? no offence intended.

    Anyone know if they have had good results in lower categories?

    1. To me it shows Lotus is not looking for a rookie driver in its lineup. Otherwise they would run those.
      But it might be a bit of giving them a chance to join the Air Asia team in GP2 next year for one of them.

  2. Well, it’s an irregular choice, that’s for sure. And that’s me being kind. I suppose I can understand Lotus’ choice, though – it’s widely accepted that Pastor Maldonado will be racing next year, and Sofia is in talks with Mr. E to host a Bulgarian Grand Prix that will be excusive to Eastern Europe (ie: the only race in the region; that means Turkey and Hungary will go). So there’s a lot of interest in Formula 1 in Bulgaria and Venezuela. But I can’t iamgine for the life of me that anyone would be interested in running Arabazhiev or Gonzalez in Formula 1.

    1. If anything, Fernandez might play with the idea of running one of them in GP2 next year for AirAsia.

      1. Maybe. I’d say Arabadzhiev for the sake of having a Bulgarian running since the Venezuelans will (probably) have Maldonado to support in Formula 1.

  3. I would say its got more to do with bank balance then talent.

    1. Nope – it’s about attracting interest in Bulgaria and Venezuela, two nations that are looking to join Formula 1 in some way (a driver for Venezuela, a race for Bulgaria) in the near future.

  4. Tony Fernandes was interviewed on Finnish TV during first practice, and he hinted heavily the they are going to change the team name Here’s the original,

    quick translation of key points:

    Our position is clear, we own the name Team Lotus. Our relationship with Group Lotus is not good. We now have to decide how valuable a name is.
    If we can negotiate a deal with group Lotus, we may keep the name. I personally am of the opinion that we are going to establish a new brand.

  5. I really doubt Arabadzhiev will ever drive in F1

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