The ongoing slew of driver changes ahead of round four of the GP2 Asia Series continued right to the eve of the event in Qatar when Alvaro Parente was named as replacement for Earl Bamber at My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara.
The change means that Meritus has now completely revised its original line-up, with 2007 World Series by Renault champion Parente joining Marco Bonanomi, who stepped in for former F1 pilot Alex Yoong ahead of last month's Bahrain round.
"We would like to welcome Alvaro to his first race with My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara and, at relatively short notice, he will certainly be thrown in at the deep end," team founder Peter Thompson commented, "My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara is fighting to stay in the running with the top teams in the championship but, for the Qatar race, we have a strong driver line-up that is hungry for success and will fight hard to continue scoring points."
Porto native Alvaro will be making his GP2 Asia Series debut in the night races at Qatar, but already has proven GP2 pedigree, having won on his summer season debut, leading from start to finish with Super Nova in Barcelona last year. Although he was not reach that height again, he eventually finished eighth overall on the season.
"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to drive for My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara and to team up with Marco Bonanomi," the 24-year old said, "I am excited about joining a strong and competitive team, whose results have shaken established teams with their performance.
"I'll do my best to show the team, Questnet, the sponsor, and the fans what I can do this weekend. I hope that my experience in GP2 and A1 Grand Prix will help. I hope to be fully ready for the first night race of the weekend in Qatar, although I will spend most of the following days learning the circuit and quickly getting up to speed!"
Parente has been connected to possible rides with both Racing Engineering and Portuguese-owned Ocean Racing Technology for the main GP2 Series, but has yet to reveal his plans for the rest of the season.