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MARCH 4, 2013

Lotus made Valsecchi only F1 offer for 2013

Davide Valsecchi, the latest GP2 champion, has revealed he will never forget Lotus' offer of a role in formula one this year.

We reported last month that the 26-year-old Italian risks becoming the first ever GP2 title winner who might never sit on a F1 grid.

But he will at least be Lotus' reserve driver in 2013, and on Saturday was called up to test the impressive new black and red E21 when Kimi Raikkonen called in sick with food poisoning.

"I used Kimi's seat, overalls, shoes ... everything except the underwear," he said in Barcelona, after Romain Grosjean dashed from Paris to replace him.

Valsecchi said he was happy with the brief opportunity to drive, but Italy's Tuttosport sensed his disappointment at failing to secure a proper race seat.

"There have been calls," he is quoted as saying, "but they were all asking for sponsors, and all I offer is a Fiat Punto," Valsecchi joked.

"Lotus was the only one to call me and really propose something to me," he revealed. "If one day I become the best in the world, I will remember it."