Adrian Valles' hopes of securing a race seat at USF1 have received a big boost with Jose Maria Lopez giving him his full backing.
Rookies USF1 are yet to confirm Lopez's partner for this year and Valles, a 2009 Superleague Champ with Liverpool as well as a former Midland and Spyker test driver, has been linked with the vacant seat. F2 Champion Andy Soucek has also been mentioned as a candidate.
Argentinean Lopez says he would welcome Spaniard Valles as team-mate.
"I would very much like to have Adrian as a team-mate for a lot of reasons," he told Marca.
"First, he is young, talented and with a lot of experience. Second, because I know him from the time when we were together in the Renault development programme.
"It's hard to talk about another driver. A lot of times they have to be judged by the car they are driving or by the team with which they have been, but Adrian has done well in all the categories he has been in, and that shows he is a talented driver."
Lopez is also confident joining USF1 was the right choice, despite persistent rumours that the team won't be on the grid this year due to financial difficulties.
"Of course it's worth it," he said. "I've fought a lot to achieve this and I've been through a lot of things. It's a chance to return to the top category in motorsport.
"I'm going to give 100 per cent to stay in Formula 1."