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Prost, Mortara and Valsecchi get Lotus test

ESPN Staff
October 24, 2012 « Razia and Cecotto get test drives with Toro Rosso | Hamilton finally ready to break silence with Dennis »
Davide Valsecchi won this year's GP2 title © Sutton Images
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Lotus will offer three drivers a chance to drive this year's E20 at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, with Nicolas Prost, Edoardo Mortara and GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi all getting an opportunity to prove their worth.

The test will take place over three days in the week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is looking forward to seeing each of the drivers in action.

"I think we have a great line-up of drivers to work with the team in Abu Dhabi and it will be very interesting for us to see how they stack-up; especially as we will have all the data from the Grand Prix which takes place the week before. Nicolas we know well from his existing work with the team, while Edoardo and Davide are new to us so it should be a productive three days; not just for the drivers, but also the team as we evaluate new parts on the car for our final push at the last two races of the season."

Prost, son of the four-time world champion Alain, has had a varied career in both single-seaters and sports cars, but he is familiar with Lotus after completing a two-day test in the team's 2010 car earlier this month. However, his drive on the opening day of the test in Abu Dhabi will be his first run in an official F1 test session.

"I'm really looking forward to driving for Lotus F1 Team at a test in this year's car, which we have all seen to be strong at so many Grands Prix this year. It's a great honour for me as a driver and I want to do the very best job I can to assist the team with development, as well as giving good feedback for any future projects."

Mortara will also be making his F1 testing debut after two years out of single-seaters driving in DTM, where he finished fifth overall this year. He showed promise in Formula 3 in 2010, winning the Euroseries as well as becoming the first driver to win back-to-back Macau Grands Prix, and is hoping he can prove his talent during the second day of testing in Abu Dhabi.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team and especially to be driving the E20 on track in Abu Dhabi. I can't wait to be in action and working with a team which is performing so well this season and has such good prospects for the future. Contributing to the team's programme is likely to be highly rewarding; I'm eager to learn from the experience and highlight my potential."

Valsecchi won this year's GP2 title with DAMS, but with seats in Formula One looking limited for 2013 could be the first champion since Giorgio Pantano in 2008 not to secure a race drive in the top flight the following year. Nevertheless, he is looking forward to arriving in Abu Dhabi and will be in the car for the final day of the test.

"For me this is a great honour, as I am eager to showcase my talents and demonstrate that I am ready to take the next step in my career after winning the GP2 Series. Lotus F1 Team is a great team with a superb group of engineers, so it's great to be getting out on track with them in Abu Dhabi."