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Valsecchi lands Lotus third-driver position 28 Jan 2013

Lotus third driver, Davide Valsecchi Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Lotus F1 E20.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day Three, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 8 November 2012

Lotus have announced reigning GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi as their third driver for the 2013 season. The 26-year-old Italian drove for the team in last year’s Abu Dhabi young driver test and has previously tested for HRT and Caterham.

“I’m really happy that the team want me on board and I’m excited about the future,” said Valsecchi. “I hope that this is a really good start to a career in Formula One. 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.

As well as claiming the GP2 title last season, Valsecchi took the 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series championship and has contested races in Auto GP and the Le Mans Series.

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

Although Valsecchi is not expected to get behind the wheel for Lotus in pre-season testing, he will attend all Grands Prix in 2013 and be on standby should Kimi Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean be unable to race for any reason.

Valsecchi’s predecessor in Lotus’s third driver role, Jerome D’Ambrosio, is staying on with the team as reserve driver. The Belgian is likely to concentrate on simulator and 2014 development work. France’s Nicolas Prost, meanwhile, continues his Lotus involvement as development driver.

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