February 21st, 2014 (F1plus/J. Leslie).- Charles Pic has joined the Lotus F1 Team as its third driver for the 2014 Formula 1 season.
The Frenchman impressed in his debut F1 campaign in 2011, driving for Marussia, before switching to rivals Caterham last year.
However, he failed to retain his seat and was replaced for 2014 by Kamui Kobayashi after a rather underwhelming season.
Pic has now joined race drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado at Lotus. He will conduct simulator work for the team as well as providing support at race weekends.
"I am very excited to join a top team and Lotus F1 Team have certainly shown that they are a top team in this sport," he said on the announcement. "It’s a great honour for me and I will be working hard to give my best to the team throughout 2014."
Asked how much of a change the move is for him, he replied: "Obviously, the big change is that I won’t be racing in Formula 1, but I will be at the races and working in meetings which will help me develop and progress as a driver.
"In terms of resources Lotus F1 Team have a fantastic facility at Enstone and the people there have experience of winning Championships. I will be spending a lot of time with the squad and I expect to learn a lot from them."
The 24-year-old admits that failing to find a race seat was frustrating, but he believes joining Lotus as the team's third driver will help him develop and improve. "I have learned a lot during my first two seasons in Formula 1 and you can always improve and do better.
"Working with a top team is the next step in my development and I think I will learn a lot from this. I’m happy with my progress from my first two seasons in Formula 1 and at 24 I still have good potential for the future."
He made his first public appearance in a Lotus race suit on day two of the Bahrain winter test, completing a photoshoot with Grosjean, Maldonado and the new E22 outside the team's garage.
Marco Sørensen has also joined the Lotus as its reserve and development driver. The Formula Renault 3.5 racer's move has been hotly tipped after Danish investment bank Saxo Bank joined Enstone-based outfit as a new sponsor at the end of January.
"It is an honour and it’s a really good step in the right direction for my career," he said. "It gives me an extra push to deliver and do well for the future."