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Bortolotti given Toro Rosso test

Toro Rosso calls up Mirko Bortolotti for the F1 young driver test session at Jerez in early December
Toro Rosso has confirmed that it will grant a test to Formula Two race winner Mirko Bortolotti during the three-day F1 young driver session at Jerez.

Bortolotti, who previously tested for Ferrari at Fiorano after winning the Italian F3 championship earlier in his career, will be the second driver from the F2 paddock to take part in the test, with newly crowned champion Andy Soucek running with Williams as part of his prize.

Bortolotti raced in F2 this season having been selected to join the Red Bull Junior Team. Victory at Brno was the highlight of a season which saw him finish fourth in the championship standings and be linked to a possible drive with Ferrari after Felipe Massa was injured at the Hungaroring.

The Italian will be at the wheel of the Toro Rosso car for the second day of the three-day session.

"I'm very happy and very proud,” he said. “My target is to get to Formula One in the next few years so to be selected for this test is very important for my career. Of course, if I can get to F1 even sooner then that will be great, but first I must focus on Jerez!

"There are not many chances for young drivers to test an F1 car due to the regulations so I'm very excited and thankful to Red Bull for giving me this opportunity. It is great that Red Bull has looked at my performance in F2 - I didn't have the best of luck during the season and it is always difficult when the field is so evenly matched. I think I finished in front of Andy Soucek in four of my five podiums so I showed that I had the pace. It could have been better for me but it was my first season in international racing so I have to be happy with the way things have gone.

"I understand that it is an important test for all of the Formula One teams also. Every mile counts particularly with the current testing situation so I will prepare myself well over the next few weeks and be ready to help the team carry out their programme. Of course, I always want to be on top and beat the other guys but I have to be realistic and focus on my own opportunity. I will try to learn as much as possible; I want to work closely with the team and see how all of the guys operate. My dream is to reach F1 and I hope this is the beginning of a good relationship with the team."

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November 12, 2009 1:44 PM

I think the Red Bull Young Driver Programme is excellent, and should be the model for all the F1 teams (Ferrari!) who want to start something similar. Red Bull have discovered some good drivers this way - Vettel anyone? - and also a few duffers: Klien and Speed weren't really up to it. Hopefully Buemi and Alguersuari will do well next year, and give hope to the likes of Ricciardo and Bortolotti that they have a genuine chance to make it to F1 if they keep putting in the performances.


November 11, 2009 2:18 PM

i think that the way rbr pick out young drivers and then assist them through sponsorship, is great. they are investing in the future and this gives them a distinct advantage when spotting talent. bortolotti should have been backed by ferrari after he posted such good times in his f1 outing with them.

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