Rodolfo Gonzalez will act as reserve and test driver for the Marussia F1 team in 2013, it has been announced.
The Venezuelan, who has competed in the GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series for the past three seasons, will attend all 19 F1 races on the 2013 calendar in the event that he is required to substitute for one of the race drivers, either Jules Bianchi
or Max Chilton, at short notice.
In addition, as a member of the Marussia F1 Team Young Driver Programme, the 26-year-old will also take part in selected FP1 sessions and this season's Young Driver Test.
“I am very excited to be joining the Marussia F1 Team and at such an exciting time in their development,” said Gonzalez, who scored just six points in GP2 in 2012, after finishing fifth in the Monaco sprint race. “Working closely with the race drivers and engineers at every stage of the race weekend is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn outside of the car and I hope that I can make a significant contribution to the team's progress.
“I am looking forward to being part of the team, starting this weekend in Melbourne, and I would like to thank the team for their trust in me and this fantastic opportunity.
“Although it is a big moment for my career, the people of Venezuela are going through a sad time at present due to the death of President Chavez, so I hope this news lifts their spirits a little. For me, I am disappointed that I was not able to share the news with him personally.”
Marussia F1 team principal John Booth added: “I'm delighted that we have completed our full driver line-up ahead of the opening race in Melbourne this weekend. We welcome Rodolfo to the Marussia F1 Team and take encouragement from the fact that he has all the right experience to be able to fulfil the role of Reserve Driver in the event that he is required to step into a seat.
“To further prepare him we look forward to seeing him take part in a number of FP1 sessions throughout the season, when we will also have the opportunity to evaluate his performances for the future.”