GP2 veteran Davide Valsecchi will remain in the series to contest a fifth consecutive season, after signing with the DAMS team to replace champion Romain Grosjean.
The Italian, who turns 25 next Tuesday, won the GP2 Asia Series title in 2008-09, but has only managed three race victories from his 72 starts in the main series.
The third of these came at Monaco last year, during a strong first half to the season with Team AirAsia. He was third in the championship after the fourth round of the campaign at Valencia, but failed to finish inside the top nine again during the remainder of the year.
“It’s a great honour for me to join the DAMS team,” said Valsecchi. “It’ll give me the chance to drive a really competitive car and battle with the front-runners on a regular basis.
“In the light of the team’s performance last season I’m convinced that it’ll provide me with a first-class single-seater in 2012. So it’ll be up to me to give my best to continue its run of successes. I already feel good with the team members, and I’m impatient to start testing to be competitive right from the season’s kick-off.”
DAMS CEO Jean-Paul Driot added: “Personally I’m delighted to welcome Davide to DAMS. His experience and speed should help us to fight at the front. Today, he’s one of the benchmarks in GP2 and he’ll be the foundation on which we’ll build our campaign to defend the drivers’ title we won last year.”