USF1 confirm Lopez

Tuesday 26-January-2010 07:39

New Formula One team US F1 have recruited former Renault test driver Jose Maria Lopez for the 2010 season.

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced the deal in Buenos Aires on Monday.

Lopez, 26, is now set to become the 24th Argentinian to race in Formula One.

"This is a truly memorable day for me, my family and the people of Argentina," said Lopez on the team's official website.

"I have been working towards this day for much of my life.

"Of course a new F1 team faces many challenges but our goal is to improve with each race and build a foundation that will eventually see this team competing for wins and championships."

US F1 Team Executive Vice President Peter Windsor praised his new driver's professionalism.

He said: "Securing 'Pechito' Lopez for our debut season has been a goal of ours for a long time.

"We've been following his career since he dominated the Renault V6 Championship in 2003 and we're thrilled to have him on board as we return America to Formula One.

"Lopez is a consummate professional and born leader. The most revealing thing about his character was how he handled the disappointment of not racing for Renault after three years of testing with them in F1.

"Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for himself, he returned to Argentina and totally dominated the local scene, winning 38 races and three championships. He became a major star as a result and, in turn, the Argentine nation - a country where F1 is second only to soccer - has got behind him."

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