Nico Rosberg, teenage son of Finland's 1982 world champion Keke, has moved a step closer to Formula One after signing with Williams as their second official test driver.
The team said on Friday that the 19-year-old German, currently racing in the new GP2 support series that has replaced Formula 3000 at Grand Prix weekends, would start his duties at Silverstone next Tuesday.
Keke Rosberg won his title with Williams.
Nico became the youngest driver to test a Formula One car when he tried out a Williams in Barcelona in December 2002 as a reward for winning the German Formula BMW ADAC championship, taking nine wins in 20 starts. His encouraging performance earned him two further tests, in 2003 and 2004.
BMW-powered Williams' main test and reserve driver is Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia.
Meanwhile, Formula One minnows Minardi have handed Chinese driver Marchy Lee Yingkin the chance to make his Formula One debut after signing him up to take part in a test session next week.
Lee, the reigning Formula BMW Asia champion, will join Minardi race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher as well as test driver Chanoch Nissany for a run at Mugello on April 27-28.
Team principal Paul Stoddart said: “It will give the team a chance to have a close look at him in terms of possible Formula One potential. I'm sure this test will also generate considerable interest among Formula One fans in China.”
Lee, who won 12 of the 15 races on his way to the BMW title last year, is not the first Chinese driver to take to the cockpit of a Grand Prix machine after Tung Hoping tested for Williams and McLaren ran Cheng Congfu. – Agencies