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Gonzalez named Marussia reserve

ESPN Staff
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Rodolfo Gonzalez will attend all 19 grands prix this season in his role © Sutton Images
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Marussia has named Rodolfo Gonzalez as its reserve driver alongside the race pairing of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton.

Gonzalez joins the team following three years in GP2 where he scored ten points as a result of three top-eight finishes across three full seasons. He has previous F1 experience from tests with Caterham and Force India last year and his arrival completes the Marussia line-up as he joins Bianchi and Chilton, with the former having replaced Luiz Razia during the final test after Razia's funding failed to materialise.

While Gonzalez expressed his excitement at his new role, he did admit he was not able to inform Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of the news before his death last week.

"I am very excited to be joining the Marussia F1 Team and at such an exciting time in their development," Gonzalez said. "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 and I hope that I can make a significant contribution to the Team's progress. I am looking forward to being part of the Team, starting this weekend in Melbourne, and I would like to thank the Team for their trust in me and this fantastic opportunity.

"Although it is a big moment for my career, the people of Venezuela are going through a sad time at present due to the death of President Chavez, so I hope this news lifts their spirits a little. For me, I am disappointed that I was not able to share the news with him personally."

Team principal John Booth said that Gonzalez would get the chance to prove himself during some Friday practice sessions this year.

"I'm delighted that we have completed our full driver line-up ahead of the opening race in Melbourne this weekend," Booth said. "We welcome Rodolfo to the Marussia F1 Team and 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. To further prepare him we look forward to seeing him take part in a number of FP1 sessions throughout the season, when we will also have the opportunity to evaluate his performances for the future."

Gonzalez will also drive for the team at this year's Young Driver Test.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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