F1: Lotus picks Spanish female racer Jorda as a development driver for this season

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish female racer Carmen Jorda will be a development driver for Lotus this season, the Formula One team announced on Thursday.

The 26-year-old appeared in the GP3 junior series last year with little success, failing to finish in the top 10 with a car that then proved a winner when it was put in the hands of Britain's Dean Stoneman.

Lotus said she would attend grands prix and Formula One tests throughout 2015 as well as spending time in the team's simulator.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and France's Romain Grosjean are the regular race drivers.

Jorda, who has also competed in the Indy Lights series in the United States, will drive the new E23 car on a track at some point. "I've been racing since I was 10 years old so it was my dream to drive a Formula One car since I was very young. Joining Lotus F1 Team is a big step towards my goal," she said.

"I will be working to improve myself as a driver as well as helping the team to develop the car by testing new developments in the simulator."

Formula One has not had a female race driver since Italian Giovanna Amati failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992 although Britain's Susie Wolff is a test driver for Williams.