Luiz Razia says an expanded program with Team Lotus – which will become Caterham next year – is his aim for 2012, as he praised the progress the team had made this season.
Razia ran for Lotus in the Abu Dhabi young driver test yesterday. It was his first outing in the car since a preseason test at Catalunya and a Friday practice appearance in China. He spent this season racing for the team's AirAsia-branded GP2 arm, finishing 12th in the standings and taking three podiums during the year, including one in last weekend's non-championship Abu Dhabi rounds.
"Looking back to China and Barcelona, our car has improved a lot," Razia said. "Not just in terms of high-speed balance, but also in the slow speed and curb riding. I was quite pleased with that."
The Brazilian feels he is building a very strong relationship with Lotus.
"We've got a lot of options," said Razia. "Obviously, I like the team a lot and they've got a great connection with me. We did a great job in GP2 this season with the team and we ended up doing a great job in Abu Dhabi as well.
"I'm finding my place in the team and hoping to do something bigger in the next year or next few years – that's my target. There's a decent chance to do the same program next year or maybe slightly better, or maybe a big jump – it's really unknown."
Asked if he expected more Friday outings or even some race appearances in 2012, Razia replied: "It's all open. It would be good to have more Fridays because this year we had not so much, and also in the GP2 team we showed this weekend that we could do much more consistent podiums than this season.
"We need to also see what the team wants from me on the professional side. They need to analyze this test and what we've got coming up, and see if they want to work with me as well."
He added that he had been satisfied he had delivered in the test this week.
"I'm very happy," Razia said. "Obviously, we are also working for 2012, so it's not all about the driving. But when I got my performance run, it was good straightaway and then quite a good run.
"I was happy with the performance and I think the team was as well. If you think that qualifying was in the night and we had our best runs in 100-degree [temperature]s, it's quite difficult to match the qualifying times because of the track."