Davide Valsecchi is determined to use his new role as a Lotus test driver as a step towards a full-time race seat.
The 24-year-old is the reigning GP2 Champion having beaten new Marussia signing Luiz Razia to the title by 25 points.
That season Valsecchi also took part in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test for the Lotus F1 team resulting in a third driver role for this year's Championship.
"I'm obviously very happy that the team wants to have me here and look forward to the future," he told motorsport-magazin.
"I hope this is the great start to my career in Formula One.
"I was at the first test in Jerez with the team and it was great being involved with the work at the track."
Pressed as to whether the third driver role was the 'next step' on the career ladder, the Italian said: "I certainly hope that I'm going step by step towards a full-time drive in Formula One.
"I now have this great opportunity with Lotus and I will do my best whenever the team needs something from me and whenever I get the chance I will show my best qualities.
"I definitely see my role as the next step. Last year I won GP2 so the next target is Formula One."