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 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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