Great news to report for our friend and aspiring American racer Alexander Rossi – the 20-year-old has been signed on as a test driver with the Caterham F1 team, as well as securing a full-time drive in the team’s Arden-run outfit in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.
The Californian will work alongside the team’s established drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov – as well as reserve driver Giedo van der Garde – in technical briefings over race weekends, along with occasional free practice outings over the course of the upcoming season.
Rossi previously tested for the team (in its former Team Lotus guise) at the ‘Young Drivers’ test at Abu Dhabi, as a reward for his excellent results in last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship, where he finished third overall with two race wins.
“My goal to be in Formula 1 is one step closer after being signed as test driver for Caterham F1 Team,” a delighted Rossi said in a team media release.
“In the past year I have spent time in Hingham at the factory and built solid relationships right across the team. I feel really comfortable with everyone and am looking forward to growing as a professional with Caterham and acquiring as much experience as possible from Friday practice, the F1 simulator and time with the team.”
Rossi has enjoyed a close relationship with Caterham F1 founder Tony Fernandes for some time, and the announcement will go a long way to further please the team’s three American sponsors – General Electric, DELL/Intel and CNN – as well as propel Rossi towards his goal of becoming America’s next Formula 1 driver, as he outlined to us in our exclusive interview with him earlier this year.
“As our official F1 test driver, Alexander is a key figure in our long-term plans and the investment we are making in him now will help him make the most of the natural talent he has at his disposal,” added Fernandes.
“We see 2012 as an important year for Alexander as he will be combining a full calendar in World Series by Renault, a championship he has a very good chance of winning, with his test driver role and giving him the chance to take part in FP1 gives him the platform from which he can grow into an even bigger F1 role.”
With America set to welcome Formula 1 to its shores later this year, expect to see and hear a lot more of Alexander in the coming months.
|READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDER ROSSI RIGHT HERE!|
A protégé with Caterham F1, this ambitious man will be the next American in F1