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Rossi joins Caterham as test driver

ESPNF1 Staff
March 9, 2012 « Hamilton yet to run McLaren on low fuel | FIA makes minor regulation tweaks ahead of Melbourne »
Alexander Rossi tested for Caterham last year © Sutton Images
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Alexander Rossi has been announced as Caterham's test driver and will combine the role with a season racing in Formula Renault 3.5 for the Arden Caterham team.

Rossi tested for Caterham at last year's young driver test and finished third in Formula Renault 3.5. The new deal makes him the official test driver and team principal Tony Fernandes said the American would be a key figure in Caterham's long-term plans.

"Today's announcement marks an important next step for Caterham F1 Team and Alexander's career," Fernandes said. "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. 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."

Rossi added: "I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to make this dual announcement today. My goal to be in Formula One is one step closer after being signed as Test Driver for Caterham F1 Team. I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Riad Asmat for their trust in me and long-term commitment to my career. The Caterham F1 Team support, coupled with the efforts of my management and investors, has brought my goal of reaching an F1 race seat one step closer.

"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.

"Winter training has been very good as Pro Performance, Caterham F1 Team's physios, are looking after all my fitness and nutrition, preparing me for this season and my next step to F1. I am fully ready for the task at hand. I have not been in a car since the F1 rookie test in Abu Dhabi last November, but have been on the simulator. I am very eager for World Series by Renault testing to begin next week and to get down to work, where I'll be running with Arden Caterham in the classic green and yellow colors. The 2011 season was good, but now I have that experience under my belt and I'm determined to fight for the championship throughout the 2012 season. This is going to be an incredible year!"