The Sauber F1 Team have announced that Ferrari Driver Academy driver Raffaele Marciello will be their official test and reserve driver for the 2015 Formula 1 season.
The 20-year-old Italian replaces Giedo van der Garde in the role, with the Dutchman having departed the team when he was informed he would not be promoted to a race seat, with the drives in the team being handed to Brazilian Felipe Nasr and Swede Marcus Ericsson instead.
Marciello will also remain in the GP2 Series for a second season with Racing Engineering, having finished eighth in the championship driving for the Spanish outfit in 2014, winning once at Spa-Francorchamps.
“I am really pleased to become a member of the Sauber F1 Team, which has a long tradition of building up excellent drivers,” said Marciello. “I really think that this is the best choice for my future career.
“I am also happy to compete for one more season in the GP2 Series, which, together with my new F1 role, will give me a very busy 2015 season. I want to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me this important opportunity, and now I really can’t wait to start delivering my best.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn was delighted to be able to announce Marciello for her team as they look to put behind them a terrible 2014 where the team failed to secure any points for the first time in their history.
“We are pleased to announce Raffaele Marciello as our test and reserve driver for the 2015 season,” said Kaltenborn. “He proved his great talent in junior formulas, and his season in the European Formula 3 Championship with 13 wins and the title victory was particularly impressive.
“We will give Raffaele the opportunity to become familiar with Formula One, which also includes him taking part in some free practice sessions on Friday. It’s great for our team to be part of his way to Formula One.”