With only days to go before team and drivers will have to be on a flight to Malaysia for the 2013 GP2 Series season opener at the Sepang International Circuit, another team has finalised its live-up.
Kevin Giovesi will be alongside Rene Binder at Venezuela GP Lazarus for the upcoming season, the team announced on Wednesday morning, just nine days before the first race weekend of the year on March 22-24.
The 19-year-old Italian driver is graduating from a year spent competing in Italian Formula Three (Italian and European series) and European F3 Open. He was the European F3 Open Copa Class champion in 2011.
"I'm so excited about this great opportunity," said Giovesi. "The jump from F3 to GP2 is very high, but the test sessions in Jerez and Barcelona gave me a very good feeling."
Giovesi had turned out for Venezuela GP Lazarus in all the 2012 post-season test sessions last October and November, and had picked up where he left off by being in the cockpit again for all six of the 2013 pre-season test days in Spain in the last fortnight.
He had a notably strong time with them in the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya last week. On Thursday, the only real dry day of running the teams got in Barcelona, he was in the top ten times in both the morning and afternoon and comfortably trumped his new team mate Rene Binder.
Giovesi acknowledged that now he needed to convert that impressive testing performance into genuine race success in 2013.
"I think I'm well prepared for racing in GP2 Series," he insisted. "It will be a tough season: I will have to learn the circuits very fast but, with the help of the team that I really want to thank, I can made a good job starting from the first race in Malaysia."
Giovesi's signing along with Tom Dillmann being confirmed at Russian Time leaves six seats in this year's GP2 Series line-up unaccounted for.
Dillmann is still waiting to find out who his team mate will be at Russian Time, while Caterham Racing still need to announce a second driver to pair up with Ma Qing Hua. Two teams - Trident Racing and Hilmer Motorsport - have yet to confirm any drivers for 2013.
2013 confirmed driver line-up
- Marcus Ericsson, Stéphane Richelmi
ART GP (formerly Lotus GP)
- James Calado, Daniel Abt
- Johnny Cecotto Jr., Mitch Evans
- Julian Leal, Fabio Leimer
- Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer
- Tom Dillmann, TBA
- Ma Qing Hua, TBA
- Jake Rosenzweig, Rio Haryanto
- Stefano Coletti, Simon Trummer
- TBA, TBA
- TBA, TBA
Venezuela GP Lazarus
- Rene Binder, Kevin Giovesi
- Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Daniël de Jong