Davide Valsecchi joins Lotus as third driver

2013 F1 season

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GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi will be Lotus’s third driver this year, the team confirmed at the launch of its 2013 car.

Valsecchi, 26, won the GP2 championship last year and drove for Lotus in the young drivers’ test at Abu Dhabi.

“I hope that this is a really good start to a career in Formula 1,” said Valsecchi.

“I very much hope, step by step, to get into Formula 1 as a race driver and being here as third driver is as near as you can get. It’s a great opportunity here; if I do the best job I can this year then it will open up my chances for the future and we’ll see if I’m good enough.”

“Every day I will do the very best job that I can to give Lotus F1 Team the same passion and commitment that I showed last year,” he added.

“My last year in GP2 in 2012 was something I really focussed on, and in the end I succeeded. Now in Formula 1 my target will be a little different, but my focus to do the very best is still the same.”

Valsecchi made his single prior F1 appearance when he drove in the first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix for the Lotus which is now Caterham.

He is only the second GP2 champion to fail to earn an F1 race seat the following year since the series was inaugurated in 2005. The other was fellow Italian Giorgio Pantano who won the 2008 title.

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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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7 comments on “Davide Valsecchi joins Lotus as third driver”

  1. Well, at least he is staying in touch with F1 this year, that is more than Pantano got.

    1. Pantano’s chance came and went centuries before his GP2 title…

  2. Good question. Presumably he has one of these three roles with Toro Rosso – it just hasn’t been announced yet:

    Antonio Felix da Costa ‏@afelixdacosta

    #LotusF1 Davide Valsecchi is the third driver, D’Ambrosio is the reserve driver and Prost is the development driver.” Whats does this mean??


    1. Maybe D’Ambrosio gets to step in if er, Valsecchi is also unable to participate…

      …and maybe Prost is stuck with the simulator? The latter’s job sounds the most fun if you ask me!

    2. Worth remembering that when Robert Kubica was injured two years ago none of the team’s roster of ‘third’, ‘reserve’ or ‘test’ drivers were called up to replace him – they brought in Nick Heidfeld instead.

      Though Heidfeld was eventually dropped for one of their many spares (Bruno Senna).

  3. I just wish that Italian drivers stop wasting their time and money on GP2 because it’s crystal clear that you only graduate to Formula One after winning the GP2 title if your not Italian.

    Six out of the eight GP2 Champions to date have graduated to a Formula One race seat the following season, the only two not to do so are the two Italian Champions.

    There are no Italian drivers in Formula One this year and there won’t be any for a very very long time to come, I only hope that the same applies to GP2.

    1. it’s crystal clear that you only graduate to Formula One after winning the GP2 title if you’re not Italian.

      I think we’re definitely in ‘correlation does not equal causation’ territory here.

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