Christian Klien is to return to Formula 1 as a test and reserve driver for Hispania, starting from Friday practice at Catalunya later this week.
The 27-year-old Austrian raced for Jaguar and Red Bull between 2004 and 2006, and has also been a test driver for Honda and most recently BMW. He had hoped that the influx of new teams for 2010 would enable him to get back into a race seat, but he was unable to find a spot on the grid.
"This role offers me the opportunity to rejoin the Formula 1 environment and drive again, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie," said Klien.
"I was in Bahrain and China and had a close look at the car already. I have also met the team members and I know quite a number of them from my previous race seasons.
"I would like to thank Dr Colin Kolles for the interest he has shown in me at this stage. It is exciting and very motivating to be part of a new team structure in such a challenging sport."
Team boss Kolles said he had admired Klien since his junior racing days.
"He is a young and fast driver," said Kolles. "I have been keeping a close eye on him since his first races in the ADAC series as I believe he has great potential.
"We look forward to having Christian alongside us in Barcelona later this week so he can spend some valuable familiarisation time with the team. As a young team we are looking for drivers who can grow with us."
Hispania has also signed former Super Aguri and Spyker racer Sakon Yamamoto as a test driver for its maiden season, alongside race drivers Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.