AirAsia secures Valsecchi and Razia
|By Matt Beer||Friday, February 4th 2011, 13:46 GMT|
Team AirAsia - the new GP2 arm of Formula 1 squad Team Lotus - has finalised deals with race-winners Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia for both GP2 Asia and the main GP2 Series this year.
Valsecchi and Razia both tested for AirAsia in Abu Dhabi this week, ahead of the opening rounds of the Asia series at the Yas Marina track next weekend, but have only now confirmed that they will race with the outfit.
Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has already hinted that the duo could earn Friday practice appearances with his grand prix team later in the season if they impress for the GP2 squad.
AirAsia GP2 boss Riad Asmat said: "We are very pleased to have confirmed that Luiz and Davide will be driving for us this season.
"They bring us a wealth of talent and experience in GP2 with a proven record of strong results, so we are very excited about the season ahead. Team AirAsia is the perfect platform for young talent to develop, and we are excited about seeing Luiz and Davide continue to grow with us throughout 2011."
Valsecchi has been a GP2 regular since the start of 2008, and won last winter's Asia title with iSport. He also has two main series wins to his name, and made his F1 testing debut with HRT last winter.
"I intend to draw on my GP2 experience and work closely with the team to get the best results possible with one aim - to win the 2011 championship," said the 24-year-old Italian.
Brazilian 22-year-old Razia is also starting a fourth season in GP2, but has only won two races in the series so far. He is confident AirAsia will rapidly be up to speed in its first year.
"My relationship with the team is already fantastic and Team AirAsia has a very exciting future ahead," he said.
"I'll use my experience to give my best in the GP2 championship and I'm sure that with the calibre of people involved in Team AirAsia we will achieve success very soon and be challenging for points, podiums and race wins whenever possible."