Alexander Rossi has been named as the Caterham Formula 1 team's test driver for 2012. The 20-year-old American was already a protégé of the squad, and will drive its car in a number of Friday practice sessions at grands prix this year.
Rossi joins race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, plus reserve Giedo van der Garde, in the Caterham lineup.
"My goal to be in Formula 1 is one step closer after being signed as test driver for Caterham F1 Team," said Rossi. "I want to thank [bosses] Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Riad Asmat for their trust in me and long-term commitment to my career.
"In the past year I have spent time in Hingham [UK] at the factory and built solid relationships right across the team. I feel really comfortable with everyone and am looking forward to growing as a professional with Caterham and acquiring as much experience as possible from Friday practice, the F1 simulator and time with the team."
Rossi will also return to Formula Renault 3.5 in the World Series by Renault this year under the new partnership between Arden and Caterham, having finished third in the series last year. Fernandes said Caterham was committed to developing Rossi for the long term.
"As our official F1 test driver, Alexander is a key figure in our long-term plans and the investment we are making in him now will help him make the most of the natural talent he has at his disposal," said Fernandes. "We see 2012 as an important year for Alexander, as he will be combining a full calendar in World Series by Renault, a championship he has a very good chance of winning, with his test driver role and giving him the chance to take part in FP1 gives him the platform from which he can grow into an even bigger F1 role."