Team Lotus have confirmed that Luiz Razia, Davide Valsecchi and Ricardo Teixeira will join their driver line-up as third driver, test driver and second test driver respectively.
Razia and Valsecchi will combine their 2011 GP2 Asia commitments with these roles, and will take part in selected F1 Friday practice sessions throughout the season. The team are also apparently working on a number of other driver-related project to be announced in due course.
“I am absolutely delighted to have confirmed my role as Third Driver for Team Lotus,” said Razia. “Both Team Lotus and Team AirAsia have very exciting futures ahead and now I also have an excellent chance to build on my F1 experience. I've been able to bring that experience to the GP2 championship already and I'm sure that with the calibre of people involved in both Team AirAsia and Team Lotus we will achieve success very soon and be challenging for points, podiums and race wins whenever possible.”
Valsecchi also commented: “I am so happy to be part of both Team Lotus and Team AirAsia this season. They are both fantastic teams with a great amount of experience and I will learn a huge amount, on and off track. I'm excited about the Friday practice sessions ahead and I'll do my best to help Team Lotus keep moving forward and absorb as much as I can from the F1 team.”
“I want to thank Tony, Din, Nasa and Riad for the opportunity to continue to develop with the team,” added Teixeira. “On both my outings in Spain I took big steps forward as a racing driver, and I am very excited about the chance to play an active role in the growth of the team over the coming years. There is a very special atmosphere in Team Lotus and to be able to represent my country as the first Angolan in F1 in this team means a huge amount to me personally, to my family and my whole country.”
The announcement means that there is no place in the team for Indian driver Karun Chandhok, who had been linked with Hingham-based outfit over the pre-season test period.