Valsecchi to drive in Australia and Malaysia

Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Team Lotus T128. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday 8 March 2011.

Davide Valsecchi

Mar.16 (GMM) Davide Valsecchi will be the first of Lotus’ test drivers to appear in Friday morning practice sessions this year.

The Malaysian owned team last week announced that its test lineup for 2011 featured the Italian as well as Brazilian Liuz Razia and Portuguese-born Angolan Ricardo Teixeira.

Karun Chandhok had been mentioned as a contender but was not named by the Tony Fernandes-led team.

A statement said Razia and Valsecchi “will be taking part in a number of Friday practice sessions at selected 2011 grands prix”.

Autosprint in Italy said it will be Valsecchi, 24, who will take over one of the T128 cockpits in Friday morning practice for Australia and Malaysia.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” he said.

“Melbourne will be difficult for someone who has not even seen that track, but Sepang is a good opportunity,” added Valsecci, referencing Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel as two examples of drivers who built F1 careers based on Friday driving.