Jerome D'Ambrosio is to make his debut in the Lotus E20 during the upcoming test at Mugello after the team revealed its line-up for the three-day session in Italy.
The former Virgin Racing driver will sample the car on the first day of the test before Kimi Raikkonen
and Romain Grosjean
then spend a day each behind the wheel.
The test will mark D'Ambrosio's first appearance in an F1 car since the final race of the 2011 season.
“It's an amazing opportunity for me, and I'd like to thank Lotus F1 Team for giving me the chance to experience the E20; it's a great car and I can't wait to drive it,” he said. “I know the team from my rookie day in Abu Dhabi in 2010, and I've felt very comfortable at Enstone this year which I'm sure will be a big help. Kimi and Romain needed time in the car during the winter after two years away, so the fact that this test has been put on the calendar after the first four races of the season gives me an opportunity to drive.
“It will be very valuable for me to get back into a Formula 1 car after six months, which has felt like quite a while. I've said all along that a third driver position with a top team would be much better for my career this year, and I'm starting to see the benefits of that strategy. I've learnt a lot so far with Lotus F1 Team, and this is just the beginning.”
Team boss Eric Boullier said he was pleased to give D'Ambrosio track time during the test as Lotus seeks to build on the double podium it secured in Bahrain at the weekend.
“Jerome has been very patiently attending all the races and has been a conscientious and regular visitor to Enstone since he was announced as our third driver,” he said. “It's clear he has been very eager to get behind the wheel and it will be invaluable for us as a team that he gets this opportunity. We have given him a full day to get to grips with the E20, and look forward to receiving his feedback from the test.
“We had a good result in Bahrain, but as always we need to keep pushing forward. Mugello will give us an opportunity to try out a few new parts and hopefully make another step forward.”