Hispania Racing have announced that Davide Valsecchi and Josef Kral will join fellow GP2 driver Pastor Maldonado is driving for the team during this week's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.
2010 GP2 Series champion Maldonado will drive the HRT F110 during Tuesday, before driving for Williams on the Wednesday. The Venezuelan is expected to race for the British team next season, particularly after it was announced that Nico Hulkenberg would be leaving the team.
Maldonado, 25, will return to the Hispania team for the Pirelli tyre tests on Friday and Saturday, when Barrichello drives the Williams. The arrangement is part of a growing relationship between the two teams that will see Williams supplying gearboxes to the Spanish outfit for 2011.
Valsecchi and Kral will share the Hispania car on Wednesday while Maldonado tries out the Williams. Italian Valsecchi, 23, won the 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series, and won the 2010 season finale at the Abu Dhabi circuit last weekend.
“It is going to be my first time in a Formula 1 car and it is a great honour for me,” he said. “I want to thank Hispania Racing for giving me the opportunity to be part of it. I have already met the team and I felt comfortable there immediately. My aim for the test on Wednesday is to do a good job and to show a good performance. I am really looking forward to getting some experience in the F1 car and I can't wait to sit in the cockpit. It is going to be another highlight for me after winning the GP2 Asia Championship.”
Kral, 20, from the Czech Republic, raced in GP2 for the first time in 2010, but suffered a serious accident at Valencia in which he sustained two fractured vertebrae. Having missed much of the second half of the season, Kral made an impressive return to racing at Abu Dhabi last weekend with two points finishes.
“A dream is coming true for me with driving a Formula 1 car on Wednesday as part of the Young Driver Test 2010,” said Kral. “I always wanted to be in a F1 car when I started karting at the age of eight. To test with Hispania Racing in Abu Dhabi is another big step for me. After my big crash in Valencia this year, I had to take a break for about four months and I was very happy when I was back in a race car at the last event of the GP2 Series. I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to do my first laps in a Formula 1 car and I am really excited.”
Colin Kolles, Hispania Team Principal, said: “We have followed Josef KrÃ¡l's career for many years and we are always in search of young and talented drivers. After Josef's accident in Valencia, he had a great comeback in Abu Dhabi and we have high hopes in his performance.
Davide Valsecchi is one of the young and talented drivers and he is the current GP2 Asia Champion. We are looking forward to see his development in a Formula 1 car and we are happy to give Davide and Josef the opportunity to drive in a Formula 1 car. Having two GP2 champions like Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi in our car makes us very proud.”