Team Lotus has added a third name to its roster for the forthcoming 'Young Driver' test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, with Rodolfo Gonzalez joining Alexander Rossi and Luiz Razia for the three-day session.
The Venezuelan will drive on the opening day [15 November], with Razia and Rossi running the subsequent sessions as Team Lotus joins its rivals in giving young talent a chance to sample F1 performance. Gonzalez is no stranger to the Hingham set-up, however, having run the same test last year before returning to GP2 for the 2011 season.
“We worked with Rodolfo last year at the same test and he performed well for us in the step up to F1," Riad Asmat, Team Lotus Group CEO, confirmed, "With Rodolfo, Alexander and Luiz, we have three talented up-and-coming drivers who will be keen to learn as much as possible, as well as show us they have the pace and temperament to succeed in F1.”
The addition of Gonzalez to the test roster confirms that Frenchman Charles Pic will not
be running with Lotus, as had been suggested over the weekend. The GP2 frontrunner will instead concentrate on seat time with Marussia Virgin, where he is rumoured to have signed a deal for 2012. Gonzalez, meanwhile, is excited at getting the opportunity to show how much he has progressed over the past twelve months.
“I am really pleased to be back with Team Lotus again in Abu Dhabi," he confirmed, "Last year, I learned a lot in the time I had with the team and, another year on, I am sure I can keep developing on and off track with this opportunity.”
Razia has served as one of the team's reserve drivers this season, alongside lining up against Gonzalez and Pic in GP2, while Rossi, who contested the World Series by Renault in 2011, is part of the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Programme.