Jerome d’Ambrosio will drive for Virgin in practice sessions at four of the final five races of the season.
The Belgian GP2 driver will participate in first practice for the Singapore, Japanese, Korean and Brazilian Grands Prix. He will also drive for them in the end-of-season rookies’ test at Abu Dhabi.
He started the year as a reserve driver for Renault as well as being part of the Renault F1 driver development programme.
My ultimate goal has always been to race in Formula 1 and I am delighted to get a step closer. I wish to thank Virgin Racing and Gravity Sport Management for their confidence. I won’t disappoint them.
This drive is a fantastic opportunity and I am looking forward to helping the team in every way I can, as well as gaining experience on four of the most demanding tracks of the F1 calendar.
Looking at the 2011 season, this will be very useful. Also, I will be very proud to wear the Belgian colours on my helmet during these official practice sessions, as it means a lot to me.
Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon added:
We have a contract with Timo Glock for another two years and an option on the services of Lucas di Grassi for next year. Both drivers have done an outstanding job for us in our debut season.
We are always looking to progress new racing talent and the team out of which Virgin Racing was born has a long history of this. Jerome is a real racer and very deserving of this opportunity.
Virgin’s other reserve driver, Luiz Razia, also races in GP2. Former reserve driver Andy Soucek left the team last month, saying he had not had enough chances to drive the team’s F1 car.
The last Belgian to participate in an F1 race weekend was Bas Leinders in practice for Minardi at Interlagos in 2004.
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