Yamamoto joins Virgin as reserve driver

2011 F1 season

Sakon Yamamoto

Sakon Yamamoto

Sakon Yamamoto has joined Virgin as the team’s reserve driver for the first three races of 2011.

The Japanese driver started seven races for HRT last year.

Yamamoto said: ??I am pleased to work with Marussia Virgin Racing in Australia.

“I really appreciate them giving me a chance to be here. The team has made a big step forward this year and I believe that I can contribute to their car development through my experience.

“As everyone is aware it is a very difficult time in Japan right now and any good news is much welcomed. I hope the people back home will feel positive about my latest F1 role as I would like to do everything possible to help them.”

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49 comments on Yamamoto joins Virgin as reserve driver

  1. Mads (@mads) said on 23rd March 2011, 12:54

    I really think this is what Japan needs to help their country get back into shape.
    Yamamoto in a reserve driver role in Virgin Racing. How exciting is that? I am really look forward to look at him hanging around in the garage in some Virgin branded clothes.

    Seriously though if he really wants to do anything he can to help the people in Japan why not stop paying F1 teams to let you hang out in their motor home and get back and spend some of the money to help people instead.

  2. Toro Stevo said on 23rd March 2011, 13:08

    If I lend Yamamoto my old rust bucket, can he drive it around on Fridays and give me the million dollars instead? I’ll even fill it up with petrol first.

  3. To a degree i can see the sense in Virgin doing this. They’ve taken on a driver with experiance of driving a ‘current’ F1 car as cover for an existing driver.
    If the Bahrain race had take place Timo wouldn’t have been available leaving them with just d’Ambrosio who hasn’t raced. I can’t think of many other alternatives to Yamamoto, may be Grosjean or de la Rosa?

  4. Dutch_Alex said on 23rd March 2011, 13:20

    Maybe we should read it like this: By signing Yamamoto we keep his money away from HRT. And if HRT goes bankrupt we get more television money.

  5. AlonsoWDC said on 23rd March 2011, 13:30

    Say what you will about Yamamoto, but his efforts in the HRT last season weren’t all that terribly off the pace of Senna. And he didn’t write it off.

  6. Sound_Of_Madness said on 23rd March 2011, 13:36

    If he somehow gets a pay-driving role through the season, he ll have competed in 4 seasons starting none! Is it a record?

  7. robk23 (@robk23) said on 23rd March 2011, 14:51

    Hopefully this will keep him away from an HRT car this season.

  8. Andy C said on 23rd March 2011, 15:26

    I agree with some of the comments on Sakon.

    So what if he’s paying for the pleasure of being reserve driver.

    Until worldwide sponsors spend increases again, and the worldwide recession recedes, I dont have any problem with the smaller teams bring in funds.

    Does anyone recall who his personal sponsor is? did he take someone to HRT last year.

  9. I’m happy for him and Virgin. Wouldn’t be that surprised if got to do a few races.

  10. Kevin said on 23rd March 2011, 17:07

    Next Sakon will be telling us about his dream to become World Champion lol

  11. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 23rd March 2011, 19:15

    Glock needs to get himself off that sinking ship instead of wasting the prime of his career…

  12. James Williams said on 24th March 2011, 1:31

    Hopeless driver. He has never been any good.

  13. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 24th March 2011, 1:33

    If the Rookie driver d’ Ambrosio isn’t racing well then he may be the replacement for him.But honestly I am surprise.

  14. Marcus said on 23rd April 2011, 6:48

    lets look at some facts here

    2010 HRT qualifying

    Bri – +0.392 to Chandhok
    Ger – +1.252 to Senna
    Hun – +0.062 to Senna
    Bel – +0.329 to Senna
    Ita – +0.173 to Senna
    Jap – +0.095 to Senna
    Kor – -0.839 to Senna

    I mean…..seriously – that’s really not that bad, he is by no means the worst Gp driver ever! Infact those stats are pretty good – I’d claim em!!

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