Crash.Net GP2 News

Calado back with Lotus GP for second year

12 December 2012

James Calado will lead Lotus GP's GP2 Series campaign in 2013 after signing up for a second season wit the team.

After finishing runner-up in the 2011 GP3 Series championship with Lotus, Calado made his début for the team at the end of the year in the GP2 Final post-season event at Abu Dhabi, where he won the sprint race. That success led Lotus to sign him up for a full rookie season that delivered two more wins, three second places and two further podium positions in an impressive first year.

"In 2012, James had several achievements in GP2," confirmed team principal Frédéric Vasseur. "After an exceptional first year which was part of his continuity from GP3, James is a Lotus GP driver for the third consecutive year.

"With the support of his environment, which allows us to work together harmoniously and confidently, we approach 2013 with one clear objective - to be champions," Vasseur added.

The deal includes an extension of the backing Calado receives from the Racing Steps Foundation.

“I am absolutely delighted to receive the ongoing backing from the RSF that enables me to take part in this incredibly competitive championship again and even more so to do it with Lotus GP again," said Calado after the announcement of his 2013 race seat. "I feel privileged to be a part of this project and to have the support of great partners without whom none of this would be possible."

With Calado's 2012 team mate Esteban Gutierrez already confirmed as moving to F1 with Sauber next season, Calado will inherit the position as team lader and knows that he will have to rise his game if he's to challenge for the championship next year.

"In terms of speed, we showed in 2012 that we were right up there with pole positions and a couple of wins," pointed out the 23-year-old from Worcestershire. "Now I know the car, the tyres, and the team I'm expecting to be fast and to win as many races as possible.

"I'm looking forward to 2013 and I hope I'll improve after such a good year in 2012," he added.

Calado was in contention for beating Gutierrez to third place in this year's season, but a poor outing at Monza and ill heath at the season finale at Singpore contributed to a slump that left him in fifth place, with fellow Brit Max Chilton also managing to get ahead in the points in the final weekend.