American rising star Alexander Rossi will be driving the Lotus T128 on the streets of Putrajaya this weekend. It will be the young Californian’s second chance to test a Formula 1 car, having tested a BMW Sauber F1.09 back in 2009, as part of his prize for winning the previous year’s Formula BMW World Final. Rossi was signed to be the reserve and test driver for the USF1 team in 2010, although the project failed to get off the ground.
The Lotus run is little more than a demonstration, but it is still good news for Rossi, who is competing this year in the Renault World Series. It is going to be a highly competitive year in the series with Rossi up against some serious opposition in Robert Wickens, Brendan Hartley, Jean-Eric Vergne and Arthur Pic, in addition to the developing Spanish star Albert Costa, who is the son of a successful bike racer and brother of another and a family friend of Jaime Alguersuari.
Rossi is hoping to see off this high-quality group and make the jump from there to Formula 1 next year, in time for the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin in 2012. Although still only 19, Rossi has extensive experience racing in Europe and Asia in recent years and is one of the young drivers who has been chosen to be part of the FIA Institute Academy this year. The Academy holds a workshop this weekend in Chamonix, France.