Reigning GP2 Series Champion Davide Valsecchi took part in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test for Lotus F1 Team having previously tested for two other teams, including driving a Friday practice session at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix.
As well as the 2012 GP2 Series title, he also won the 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series having previously competed in Auto GP, the Le Mans Series and a variety of European single-seater categories.
2012: GP2 Series, P1
2011: GP2 Asia Series, P7 / GP2 Series, P8
2010: GP2 Asia Series, P1 / GP2 Series, P8 / Auto GP, P23
2009: GP2 Asia Series, P4 / GP2 Series, P17
2008: GP2 Asia Series, P8 / GP2 Series, P15
2007: Formula Renault 3.5 Series, P16
2006: Formula Renault 3.5 Series, P10 / Le Mans Series, P15
2005: Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, P7 / Italian Formula Three, P7 / 3000 Pro Series, P14
2004: Formula Renault 2000 Italia, P14 / Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup, P31
2003: Formula Renault 2000 Italia, P15
How good is it to get the third driver role with Lotus F1 Team?
Well, I’m really happy of course that the team want me to be with the team and I’m excited about the future. I hope that this is a really good start to a career in Formula 1.
What are your targets for the season?
Every day I will do the very best job that I can to give Lotus F1 Team the same passion and commitment that I showed last year. My last year in GP2 in 2012 was something I really focussed on, and in the end I succeeded. Now in Formula 1 my target will be a little different, but my focus to do the very best is still the same.
What is your experience so far of the team?
I took part in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and that was unbelievable. I’ve spent some time in GP2 but the step to Formula 1 is very different. Before the test I had not really spent much time in a Formula 1 car and to get the opportunity to have a full day’s testing was an incredible experience. I was thankful to Lotus F1 Team to give me the chance, and I knew that I was in a position to do well as I was about to drive a car that, just two or three days earlier, Kimi had won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in! The day itself went very well, and I managed to top the timing board which made me very happy.
Last year you won the GP2 Series with DAMS, do you see your new role as the next step in your Formula 1 career?
I very much hope, step by step, to get into Formula 1 as a race driver and being here as third driver is as near as you can get. It’s a great opportunity here; if I do the best job I can this year then it will open up my chances for the future and we’ll see if I’m good enough.