Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez has been signed as Marussia’s third driver, just days ahead of the curtain opener in Melbourne on March 17th.
Briton Max Chilton finished 4th in last year’s GP2 Championship and was signed as Marussia’s test driver during the Singapore Grand Prix, having now being bumped up to a full-time driving role.
As part of Gonzalez’ duties, he will run several Friday free practice one sessions and will step up to the plate if any drivers can’t drive, for example if a driver falls ill as Timo Glock did in Valencia 2012.
Gonzalez has spent three years in GP2, finishing 21st in his rookie season which has served as his best end-of-season result. He has also tested for Force India and Marussia rival, Caterham.
“I would like to thank the team for their trust in me and this fantastic opportunity.” said the 26-year-old. “Working closely with the race drivers and engineers at every stage of the race weekend is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn outside of the car”.
Team Principal John Booth had this to say, “We take encouragement from the fact that he has all the right experience to be able to fulfil the role of reserve driver in the event that he is required to step into a seat.”