Lotus Renault GP has today announced its three drivers for the Abu Dhabi young driver test, which takes place later this month.
The rookie days will take place from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 November at the Yas Marina Circuit, which will also be scene of the F1 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the penultimate round in the championship this weekend.
Stepping into the R31 during the three-day test will be Robert Wickens, Kevin Korjus and Jan Charouz.
“The young driver test in Abu Dhabi in is a great opportunity for us to cast our eyes over potential future stars of the sport,” said Lotus Renault GP team boss, Eric Boullier.
“With a plethora of young hopefuls out there, we hope to spot very strong contenders for future F1 seats. As the season draws to a close, this three day test will pit the wits of the three drivers against this challenging circuit. We look forward to seeing how they get on.”
Wickens, who won the 2011 World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Championship this year, and who will also actually run at the Yas Marina Circuit this week, when he takes in Friday free practice 1 with Virgin, said he is 'really excited' about the opportunity.
“I can't wait to drive the Lotus Renault on the Tuesday,” he continued. “Obviously I'm confident having won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship; that was a big achievement for me and it just proves to myself I'm capable of doing something like this.
“I feel like I'm ready for F1 and I think driving the car in Abu Dhabi will be kind of a true test. All year, my goal in World Series was to win the Championship and to get this drive, so hopefully I can make the most of the opportunity and put in some competitive lap times.”
Korjus and Charous meanwhile also competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship this year, the fromer becoming the youngest driver to ever win a race in series back in April.
“It's the most exciting moment of my life and now, as it's only a few days left, I'm really looking forward to it. I will be driving on the Wednesday and I'm very much looking forward to this event,” said Korjus. “It will be such a huge experience for me.
“I was in Enstone last week to ensure my seat and meet all the guys, and I also learned a little bit about the steering wheel because there are so many patterns – it was a lot to take in. I also talked with the engineers about what we are going to do in Abu Dhabi. It will be my first ever time in a F1 car and my first time in the emirate. Everything is new for me and it's extremely exciting to learn about it. I'm ready to get in the car.”
“I'm very excited to go to Abu Dhabi; it is a great opportunity to get some mileage in the R31 this year,” added Charous, who is one of LRGP's third drivers. “I have been doing some driving but nothing in this year's car yet, so I'm very excited to do that and also to work with the race team.”