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Rossi and Ma signed as Caterham reserves 01 Mar 2013

(L to R): Alexander Rossi (ITA) Caterham F1 Reserve Driver and Ma Qing Hua (CHN) Caterham F1 Reserve Driver.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Alexander Rossi (USA) Caterham F1 Reserve Driver.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Ma Qing Hua (CHN) Caterham F1 Reserve Driver.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham CEO.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, 20 February 2013

American Alexander Rossi and China’s Ma Qing Hua have been confirmed as Caterham’s reserve drivers for 2013, joining racers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde in the team’s line-up for the new season.

Rossi, 11th in last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship, first drove for Caterham at the 2011 Abu Dhabi young driver test and served as the team’s test driver in 2012. He made his F1 race weekend debut with a practice outing at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix and as part of his 2013 reserve role will be taking part in a number of further FP1 sessions this season.

"After many discussions this winter with Caterham F1 Team regarding my 2013 programme, today’s announcement brings me even closer to my goal of racing in F1,” said Rossi, 21. “2013 will be my third season with the Caterham family and I’ve built solid relationships within the whole team.

“My goals from the Friday practice sessions that I will drive this season is to fulfil the team’s run plan for each session, work closely with everyone and learn as much as possible, always being ready for the next opportunity. As Caterham F1 Team’s reserve driver I will attend all F1 events, allowing me to integrate fully within in the team technically, commercially and from a sporting perspective in F1, best preparing me for the next step.”

Ma, meanwhile, is a newcomer to Caterham, but has F1 experience after four practice outings with HRT in 2012. The 25-year-old, a veteran of several single-seater series including Italian F3000 and British F3, will drive in this year’s opening practice session for his home race in Shanghai, as well as racing throughout the season in GP2 for Caterham Racing.

“I am very excited about joining the Caterham family and would like to thank everyone at Caterham F1 Team and Caterham Racing for giving me the chance to race in GP2 and to extend my F1 experience,” said Ma.

“Both teams have everything they need to keep growing in the right direction and I am looking forward to playing an important role in helping them achieve what they’ve set out to this year. I know the fans at home will be really excited to see me race in GP2 and with the F1 work I also have ahead of me, China can be proud that it continues to have a driver involved in motor racing at the very highest level.”

Commenting on Caterham’s latest signings, team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Ma into our team. Alexander continues his development with us into 2013 and his promotion is a reflection of the investment we are making in him for the future.

“Ma joins us with previous F1 experience from 2012, and will play a key role in helping our GP2 team achieve their 2013 goals. We are looking forward to helping him develop his talents, both in the F1 and GP2 environments, and giving Chinese fans a figurehead to support on track throughout the year ahead.

“As reserve drivers, both Alexander and Ma will attend every race with us and will be driving in a number of FP1 sessions to continue their development. One of the main challenges facing young drivers moving up to F1 is the sheer number of people they have to interact with compared to any other level of their motorsport career. They go from a small number in Formula Renault 3.5 to more than 15 in F1, across engineering, performance, reliability, engine, KERS, strategy, communications and marketing.

“The program we have devised for Alexander and Ma will allow them to immerse themselves completely in the F1 environment throughout 2013, preparing them for the day when they take the next step up to the ultimate level.”

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