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Lotus confirms reserve driver line-up

ESPNF1 Staff
March 11, 2011 « Schumacher sets new benchmark | »
Luiz Razia spends time at the wheel of the Lotus T128 in Barcelona on Tuesday © Sutton Images
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Lotus has confirmed a reserve driver trio of Davide Valsecchi, Luiz Razia and Ricardo Teixeira.

Razia and Valsecchi both drive for Lotus' sister AirAsia GP2 team and will spend time in the T128 during Friday test sessions. Razia has been named as 'third driver' and Valsecchi as 'test driver'.

"I am absolutely delighted to have confirmed my role as third driver for Lotus," Razia said. "Both Lotus and Team AirAsia have very exciting futures ahead and now I also have an excellent chance to build on my F1 experience."

"I'm excited about the Friday practice sessions ahead," Valsecchi said. "And I'll do my best to help Lotus keep moving forward and absorb as much as I can from the F1 team."

Both drivers spent time in the car earlier this week in Barcelona, and Lotus CEO Riad Asmat said that the team aimed to build on that experience.

"Luiz and Davide's efforts have helped Team AirAsia enjoy a very strong start to its debut season," Asmat said. "Their roles with Team Lotus will give them invaluable experience of the highest level of global motorsport which will help their natural talents develop in the right direction."

Teixeira's position with the team is part of what they describe as a 'long-term development plan' and has been titled 'second test driver'. There is still no word on what this means for former HRT driver Karun Chandhok, but the door doesn't appear to be closed, with the statement saying 'Lotus is also working on a number of other exciting driver-related projects which will be announced in due course.'