Virgin Racing confirms Manor takeover and announces Lucas di Grassi for 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lucas di Grassi will be F1's third rookie driver in 2010
Lucas di Grassi will be F1's third rookie driver in 2010

Virgin Racing has confirmed its long-expected take over of the Manor Grand Prix team for 2010.

And it has announced the team’s second driver will be Brazilian rookie Lucas di Grassi.

Di Grassi completes Virgin’s 2010 F1 driver line-up, joining Toyota refugee Timo Glock.

Di Grassi was runner-up in the GP2 championship in 2007 and placed third this year behind Nico H???lkenberg and Vitaly Petrov. He was previously Renault’s third driver and tested for the team at Jerez earlier this month.

Alvaro Parente will be the team’s test and reserve driver.

Brazilian fans will have two new drivers to cheer on in 2010 as Bruno Senna makes his debut for Campos. There’s still no sign of an F1 return for the disgraced Nelson Piquet Jnr, however.

With Felipe Massa returning for Ferrari and Rubens Barrichello switching to Williams there will be four Brazilians in F1 in 2010. By my reckoning the last time Brazil had that many drivers on the grid was the 2004 Italian Grand Prix, when Barrichello and Massa were joined by Antonio Pizzonia and Ricardo Zonta.

Update: Virgin Racing have launched their official website.

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Image (C) Alastair Staley / GP2 Series Media Service