|© Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic/Lotus
Nicolas Prost, the son of four time Formula 1 world champion Alain, has been appointed as the development driver for Lotus this season.
Prost, who drove for the team during the young driver test in Abu Dhabi last year, has competed in endurance racing, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, and also participated in the A1 GP series for France.
Since last season, the 31-year-old Frenchman has been working with Lotus on its simulator and technical programmes.
“I would describe Enstone as being a big family; when people talk about F1 it’s always that it is full of sharks, but in this team everyone I meet is so nice,” Prost said.
“For me, just to be in Formula 1 is already quite an achievement, but it is fantastic to be involved with one of the best teams – and I think Lotus is really one of the best, and the underdog who is scaring everyone!” he added.
Lotus retained Jerome D'Ambrosio as its reserve driver and named GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi as the third driver.
Valsecchi took part in a practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2011 for Lotus (now called Caterham) and has had outings in the young driver test.
"I very much hope, step by step, to get into Formula 1 as a race driver and being here as third driver is as near as you can get," said the 26-year-old Italian. "It’s a great opportunity here; if I do the best job I can this year then it will open up my chances for the future and we’ll see if I’m good enough."