Team AirAsia have finally confirmed that Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia will race for the brand new team in the 2011 GP2 Asia and Main Series seasons. Both drivers have been testing with the Hingham-based team in Abu Dhabi this week ahead of the opening round of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit on 11th/12th February.
Team Principal Riad Asmat is pleased with the team's line-up for its debut season. “We are very pleased to have confirmed that Luiz and Davide will be driving for us this season,” said Asmat. “They bring us a wealth of talent and experience in GP2 with a proven record of strong results, so we are very excited about the season ahead. Team AirAsia is the perfect platform for young talent to develop, and we are excited about seeing Luiz and Davide continue to grow with us throughout 2011.”
Valsecchi joins the team for his fourth season in the GP2 Series. The 24-year-old Italian previously raced for iSport International, dominating the 2009-10 Asia Series before finishing eighth overall in the Main Series. At the end of 2010 he tested for the HRT Formula 1 team. Valsecchi is pleased to be joining AirAsia for its debut season in GP2. Despite the team's inexperience, he is aiming high for the 2011 season.
“I am so happy to be part of Team AirAsia this season,” he said. “It's such a great championship and the team and I have a lot to look forward to in GP2. I intend to draw on my GP2 experience and work closely with the team to get the best results possible with one aim – to win the 2011 championship.”
Razia has two seasons of GP2 already under his belt. The 21-year-old Brazilian finished 11th overall in 2010 for Rapax, and was also a test driver for the Virgin Racing F1 team. He too is pleased to be joining Team AirAsia.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Team AirAsia and bringing my sponsors to be part of the 2011 GP2 series,” said Razia. “My relationship with the team is already fantastic and Team AirAsia has a very exciting future ahead. I'll use my experience to give my best in the GP2 championship and I'm sure that with the calibre of people involved in Team AirAsia we will achieve success very soon and be challenging for points, podiums and race wins whenever possible.”
Both drivers will be looking to use the team's links with Team Lotus to expand on their experience in Formula 1. The team has been formed by Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, and will be operated out of the same facilities in Hingham, Norfolk.