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American youngster Alexander Rossi feels ready to help Norfolk Formula One outfit Caterham, after being confirmed as the team’s test driver for 2012.

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Rossi will work alongside Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, as well as reserve driver Giedo van der Garde during this year’s campaign, while the 20-year-old will also compete for a second year in the World Series by Renault 3.5 for the new Arden Caterham team.

Rossi took part in November’s Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test for Caterham and is expected to take some Friday practice sessions during Formula One weekends.

“My goal to be in Formula One is one step closer after being signed as test driver for Caterham F1 Team,” said Rossi. “I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Riad Asmat for their trust in me and long-term commitment to my career.

“I feel really comfortable with everyone and am looking forward to growing as a professional and acquiring as much experience as possible from Friday Practice, the F1 simulator and time with the team. I am fully ready for the task at hand.”

The move also makes sense given the return of the US Grand Prix this year, with the new Circuit of the Americas at Austin.

Caterham team principal Tony Fernandes added: “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.

“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.”

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