Rene Binder will remain with the Lazarus team as he contests his first full season of GP2 this year.
The Austrian driver contested the final six races of the 2012 campaign with the Italian squad and, although he came with an uninspiring record from German F3, he impressed. His best result came in the second race at Monza with a 13th place.
He remained with the team for post-season testing, finishing the final session at Jerez in a fine third position.
“I am sure we have made the right decision to sign for Venezuela GP Lazarus so I want to thank Tancredi Pagiaro and all our partners who have made that step possible,” said Binder, the nephew of 1970s Formula 1 driver Hans.
“The GP2 Series will be very competitive this year with some strong drivers arriving from other junior categories but I want to fully concentrate on my own preparations and get the maximum from the car and, of course, from the tyres. This will be my first full season and I cannot wait for the pre-season tests to get underway.”
Team Principal Tancredi Pagiaro said he liked what he’d seen of Binder so far.
“I’ve always appreciated Rene’s driving style,” said Pagiaro. “Starting from his debut in Spa he drove the car without taking unnecessary risks, always listening to all our suggestions and improving day by day.
“In Barcelona and Jerez it was clear to me that Rene has the talent and the intelligence to drive a car as demanding as that of GP2. His ability to learn together with his desire to emerge and his qualities, the permit will take off more than a satisfaction in the league and that’s why we cannot wait to start the new season together.
“It will be difficult for him to learn circuits such us Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain, Montecarlo or Abu Dhabi in only 7 or 8 laps during free practice, but we will working together and we will do our best for Rene.”