Berthold Bouman, F1 correspondent
Caterham F1 have signed Alexander Rossi as official test driver, they announced today. The 20-year old American driver will join regular drivers Finn Heikki Kovalainen and Russian Vitaly Petrov and reserve driver Dutchman Giedo van der Garde, Rossi will take part in the FIA Formula One Championship driving the Caterham CT01 during the Friday morning first free practice sessions.
Rossi was delighted with the announcement, “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.
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 also announced he will continue his role in the World Series by Renault FR 3.5 Championship, in which he finished third last year, winning the Rookie Championship with two wins and 156 points in the bag. The young American will join the Arden Caterham team for 2012 and will drive alongside Lewis Williamson.
My goal to be in Formula One is one step closer
Rossi is also looking forward to the World Series by Renault, “I am very eager for World Series by Renault testing to begin next week and get down to work, where I'll be running with Arden Caterham in the classic green and yellow colors.” And he predicted, “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!"
Team Principal Tony Fernandes said, “Today's announcement marks an important next step for Caterham F1 Team and Alexander's career. 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.”
About Rossi’s participation in the 2012 World Series by Renault Fernandes commented, “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.”
Arden Sporting Director Julian Rouse commented,” We are a new team to the series in 2012, but we have a very talented group of people in place that have a huge amount of experience in many categories including FR 3.5 and with Alexander and Lewis's ability to consider, the aim is to be right at the front straight away.”