Team Lotus has announced that American, Alexander Rossi, will join the team for the Young Driver tests at Abu Dhabi, taking place in the week following the Grand Prix.
The former World Series by Renault race winner has shown a lot of promise in the recent GP2 winter test sessions and will step into the seat of a Formula One car for the second time, his first having taken place with the BMW Sauber team in 2009. Rossi will also be competing in the GP2 season finale at Abu Dhabi for Caterham Team AirAsia and will be looking to improve on his testing pace. “After the positive GP2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona I feel we have a good chance of a strong result in the GP2 races.” Said Rossi.
Team Lotus, which will be rebranded Caterham F1 added Rossi to their AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program in April this year. The program, formed in 2010, aims to use Team Lotus expertise to help grow young talent from around the world. The Young Driver test will prove Team Lotus’ confidence in Rossi as the outfit looks towards the future and a potential career at the highest level. The tests have previously seen current F1 drivers Paul Di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo establish themselves as well as J R Hildebrand (2011 Indy 500 runner-up).
Having already signed with Caterham Team AirAsia for the 2012 GP2 Series, both the GP2 Finale and the Young Driver test will prove crucial for all involved heading into next season. With the GP2 Asia Series becoming part of the main championship from next year any extra mileage gained by Rossi, albeit not in a GP2 car, can only be positive.
Rossi will be keen to impress during his time in Abu Dhabi and may become a familiar name around Formula One in the very near future. American conglomerate GE is an important sponsor and with two US Grands Prix on the horizon, Rossi is central to the team’s plans.
Brazilian Luis Razia will also get a run in the Lotus during the three day test.
Also lined up to test for other teams in Abu Dhabi are Stefano Coletti and Kevin Ceccon at Toro Rosso, Jean Eric Vergne at Red Bull.