Lotus F1 Junior Team driver Alex Fontana will get his first taste of F1 next week, after accepting an invitation to test the Enstone operation's 2010 car - the R30 - at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

The opportunity, which comes as part of Lotus' iRace programme, will see Fontana enjoy a day at the F1 test facility with Lotus F1 Team engineers on hand to guide him through the experience, which is a vital step in his development as a driver with the aspiration of making it to F1 in the future.

"I'm naturally delighted that Lotus F1 Team has given me the opportunity of this test," Fontana said, "Every driver's dream is to sit behind the wheel of an F1 car.

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"For me, it's a great honour to be able to undertake a day's testing at Paul Ricard. I've been to Enstone on a number of occasions to prepare myself to best effect with intensive work on the simulator, and I'll be tackling this test with great respect for the team, the car and with a healthy dose of humility. I'll be giving it my best shot, to grasp the opportunity and to live up to the expectations.

"I'm also sure that an opportunity such as this will make a significant contribution to my experience as a driver. For this reason, I'd once again like to thank the management team at Lotus F1 Team and all the people who have supported me and taken a keen interest in my progress."

Fontana, whose helmet pays tribute to the late Tom Pryce as well as his dual Swiss and Greek heritage, will take to the former French GP venue on 30 September.

"Alex has shown great potential as part of our Lotus F1 Junior Team programme, so it is fantastic to reward him with a drive as part of our iRace Professional programme," F1 team CEO Patrick Louis said, "His day at Paul Ricard will see him working closely with our engineers to maximize his learning experience on his first day in an F1 car.

"For Lotus F1 Team, it is rewarding to work with young drivers with the goal of helping them achieve their aims and assisting us in finding the champions of the future."