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Reserve drivers an 'investment' for Caterham - Abiteboul

ESPN Staff
March 1, 2013 « Live F1 testing from Barcelona | Grosjean quickest on drier second day »
Alexander Rossi and Ma Qing Hua will both get FP1 drives during the 2013 season © Caterham
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Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul says the team is making an "investment" for the future with new reserve driver pairing Alexander Rossi and Ma Qing Hua.

While Ma is a new addition to Caterham's driver line-up, Rossi has been part of the team since 2011 when he drove for the team in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test. Abiteboul said that Rossi's progress shows Caterham's commitment to young drivers and that he hoped Ma would develop in a similar way now that he's joined the team.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Ma into our team," Abiteboul said. "Alexander continues his development with us into 2013 and his promotion is a reflection of the investment we are making in him for the future.

"Ma joins us with previous F1 experience from 2012, and will play a key role in helping our GP2 team achieve their 2013 goals. We are looking forward to helping him develop his talents, both in the F1 and GP2 environments, and giving Chinese fans a figurehead to support on track throughout the year ahead."

Abiteboul added the main aim was to prepare both drivers to make the step up to a race seat - be it with Caterham or another team - in the future.

"As Reserve Drivers, both Alexander and Ma will attend every race with us and will be driving in a number of FP1 sessions to continue their development. One of the main challenges facing young drivers moving up to F1 is the sheer number of people they have to interact with compared to any other level of their motorsport career. They go from a small number in Formula Renault 3.5 to more than 15 in F1 across engineering, performance, reliability, engine, KERS, strategy, communications and marketing.

"The program we have devised for Alexander and Ma will allow them to immerse themselves completely in the F1 environment throughout 2013, preparing them for the day when they take the next step up to the ultimate level."