HRT add Kral, Valsecchi to Abu Dhabi line-up 15 Nov 2010
In addition to reigning GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado, HRT have announced they will run fellow GP2 stars Josef Kral and Davide Valsecchi in this weeks young driver test in Abu Dhabi. Maldonado will be in the car on Tuesday, with Kral and Valsecchi getting their chance to impress on Wednesday.
Kral, 20, was runner-up in the 2007 Formula BMW series before progressing to GP2 with Super Nova in 2009. A serious crash earlier this year saw the Czech driver fracture two vertebrae, but he returned to the cockpit for the season finale at Yas Marina at the weekend.
A dream is coming true for me with driving a Formula One car - I always wanted to be in an F1 car when I started karting at the age of eight, said Kral. To test with Hispania Racing in Abu Dhabi is another big step for me. After my big crash in Valencia, I had to take a break for about four months and I was very happy when I was back in a race car at the last event of the GP2 Series. I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to do my first laps in a Formula One car and I am really excited.
Italian Valsecchi, 23, progressed his single-seater career in Italian Formula Renault and Formula Renault World Series between 2003 and 2007. He then competed for various teams in the GP2 and GP2 Asia Series, winning the latter in 2010. He also took victory in last weekends sprint race in Abu Dhabi.
It is going to be my first time in a Formula One car and it is a great honour for me, said Valsecchi. I have already met the team and I felt comfortable there immediately. My aim for the test on Wednesday is to do a good job and to show a good performance. I am really looking forward to getting some experience in the F1 car and I cant wait to sit in the cockpit. It is going to be another highlight for me after winning the GP2 Asia championship.
Dr Colin Kolles, HRT team principal, commented: We have followed Josef Krals career for many years and we are always in search of young and talented drivers. After Josefs accident in Valencia, he had a great comeback in Abu Dhabi and we have high hopes in his performance.
Davide Valsecchi is one of the young and talented drivers and he is the current GP2 Asia champion. We are looking forward to see his development in a Formula One car and we are happy to give Davide and Josef the opportunity to drive. Having two GP2 champions like Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi in our car makes us very proud.
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