Razia, Valsecchi and Teixeira to form Lotus test line-up 11 Mar 2011
Lotus confirmed on Friday that Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi will combine their 2011 GP2 Team AirAsia commitments with Lotus test roles. Razia will be their third driver and Valsecchi their test driver, joining race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli in the teams line-up. Both men are expected to take part in a number of Friday practice sessions during 2011.
I am absolutely delighted to have confirmed my role as third driver for Team Lotus, said former Virgin tester Razia. 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. Ive been able to bring that experience to the GP2 championship already and Im 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.
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. Im excited about the Friday practice sessions ahead and Ill do my best to help Team Lotus keep moving forward and absorb as much as I can from the F1 team.
Formula Two driver Ricardo Teixeira will also join Lotus as a second test driver to continue his long-term development programme with the team. It follows his two recent tests with them.
I want to thank Tony, Din, Nasa and Riad for the opportunity to continue to develop with the team, said Teixeira. On both my outings in Spain I took big steps forward as a racing driver, and I am very excited about the chance to play an active role in the growth of the team over the coming years. There is a very special atmosphere in Lotus and to be able to represent my country as the first Angolan in F1 in this team means a huge amount to me personally, to my family and my whole country.
Riad Asmat, Lotus CEO, concluded: 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. Luiz and Davides 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.
Lotus wrapped up their test programme at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya on Friday and will now journey back to their Norfolk factory to continue pre-season preparations ahead of the Australian Grand Prix later this month.
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