Virgin have signed Jerome d’Ambrosio to drive alongside Timo Glock in 2011.
The Belgian driver, who appeared for Virgin in four practice sessions at the end of this year, will replace Lucas di Grassi.
D’Ambrosio finished 12th in this year’s GP2 championship behind Virgin’s reserve driver Luiz Razia. He said:
I?óÔé¼Ôäóm thrilled to have achieved my goal of a Formula One race seat with Marussia Virgin Racing.
When I came to the team in September this year it was everything I could hope for. I had a tough test to complete because there was a lot of competition for this seat, but at the same time I got on well with the team and felt that I had found my home.
I feel very comfortable with them – they are extremely professional and ambitious people and it is exciting to think that I can be a part of shaping the team?óÔé¼Ôäós future.
I would like to thank everyone at Marussia Virgin Racing for the faith they have shown in me and everyone at Gravity Sport Management for the support they have given to my career so far.
Virgin team principal John Booth added:
Jerome had been on our radar for quite some time as a driver we should seriously consider for a 2011 race seat. We had followed his progress in GP2 closely and it was clear he was ?óÔé¼?£one to watch?óÔé¼Ôäó, but when we put him in the car for the four race weekends and the Abu Dhabi test he surpassed even our own expectations.
He slotted into the team perfectly and everyone took a shine to him, including our partners and the media. Apart from his obvious skill at the wheel of a Formula One car, he is an immensely personable young guy who is a pleasure to have around. He has secured this seat absolutely on merit and I think coupled with Timo we have the perfect blend of youth, experience, speed and potential and we can?óÔé¼Ôäót wait to see what they can achieve together next season.
Timo has done an excellent job for us in our debut season, in often challenging circumstances. There is no doubt that he has helped us to establish a strong foundation from which to develop the team and the package. We look forward to being in a much stronger position to deliver the car he deserves in 2011.
Finally, I must thank Lucas di Grassi for the important role that he also played in establishing the team. He contributed a great deal to our development and we wish him every success in his future career, which we have no doubt will be an exciting one.
View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.
- Razia and Valsecchi to be Lotus reserve drivers
- Pedro de la Rosa rejoins McLaren as reserve
- HRT confirm Liuzzi as Karthikeyan’s team mate
- Di Resta to race for Force India, H?â??lkenberg to test
- Fairuz Fauzy joins Renault as reserve driver for 2011
- HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011
- Renault set date for ‘Lotus Renault GP R31’ launch
- Force India to launch VJM04 at Jerez test
- Petrov to remain at Renault in 2011 and 2012
- Jerome d’Ambrosio to drive for Virgin in 2011