Gonzalez to replace Bianchi in first practice

By on Thursday, April 18, 2013

Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez will drive for the team in first practice in Bahrain.

The Venezuelan driver will replace Jules Bianchi for the opening ninety minute session at the Sakhir Circuit.

Gonzalez raced in GP2 between 2009 and 2012, recording a best finish of 21st in the 2010 championship.

"I’m really happy with this opportunity to drive in my first FP1 session of the season," said Gonzalez.

"It will be a nice feeling to be back in a car – especially to drive a Formula 1 car again – and with my previous F1 experience I feel more than comfortable and ready."

"I love this circuit; it will be quite dusty in FP1 but it’s also good fun and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve. I would like to thank the Team for their faith in me. They have made me feel so welcome and have bent over backwards to involve me in every aspect of the racing."

Team principal John Booth added that Gonzalez will participate in further practice sessions throughout the season.

"On this occasion he will take over from Jules for the morning but we will see him taking part in this session at several of the races this season and we will alternate between the two cars. We wish him well and look forward to getting our first opportunity to gauge his performance level in the MR02," said Booth.

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