Female Spanish driver Maria de Villota has revealed she is close to signing a contract to become third driver for the Renault/Lotus team in 2012.
At an event on Wednesday, the 31-year-old was quoted as saying she expected to put pen to paper “later this year or early next year”. She said the role is to be the “Friday or the replacement driver” at grands prix, acknowledging that her work will be “focused towards 2013”, when she hopes to “be on the grid”.
“We have all the pieces, all that remains is to fit them together during a day for some simple negotiating points,” de Villota is quoted by Europa Press. “There are many women who can drive well and so it is important to try to open the way for others to see that it is not something so unusual.”
De Villota, whose father Emilio de Villota raced in F1 in the 70s and 80s, was a team guest at Interlagos last weekend.