Alexander Rossi and Ma Qing Hua have been named as the Caterham F1 team’s reserve drivers for the 2013 Formula 1 season. The Leafield-based team will give both men several Friday practice outings over the course of the upcoming season.
Rossi – widely considered to be the United States’ next F1 prospect – had his first F1 test at the age of just sixteen with the BMW Sauber team, and has more recently been a part of the Caterham team’s headcount since he drove for the team at the 2011 ‘Young Drivers’ test at Abu Dhabi.
Last year, he served as the team’s test driver, getting one Friday practice outing at the Spanish Grand Prix while also competing in the outfit’s Formula Renault 3.5. This year, the 21-year-old is expected to compete in the GP2 Series.
“[It] will be my third season with the Caterham family and I’ve built solid relationships within the whole team,” Rossi said in the team’s announcement.
“My goal for the Friday practice sessions that I will drive this season is to fulfill the team’s runplan, work closely with everyone and learn as much as possible, always being ready for the next opportunity.”
Ma, meanwhile, finds his F1 ambitions rescued after his former employer, the HRTF1 Team, collapsed during the off-season. The 25-year-old became the first Chinese driver to drive at a Grand Prix when he made his Friday practice debut for the squad at the Italian Grand Prix.
He will make his first Friday practice outing for the team at the Chinese Grand Prix in April, and will also contest the GP2 Series with Caterham’s feeder team.
“I am very excited about joining the Caterham family!” Ma exclaimed.
“I know the fans at home will be really excited to see me race in GP2 and with the Formula 1 work I also have ahead of me, China can be proud that it continues to have a driver involved in motor racing at the very highest level.”
For those of you who haven’t yet read our exclusive interview with Alexander Rossi which we conducted last year, check it out here.