Virgin confirm Pic to replace D’Ambrosio

2012 F1 season

Charles Pic, Virgin, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Charles Pic, Virgin, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Virgin have announced GP2 driver Charles Pic will race for them in 2012.

The 21-year-old, who finished fourth in GP2 this year, will join the team as it becomes Marussia next year.

With Timo Glock already confirmed at the team the announcement leaves Jerome D’Ambrosio lacking a drive for next season.

Pic said: “As a driver you always feel you are ready for the next opportunity but in Abu Dhabi last week it was a tough test.

“The team gave me some fantastic opportunities to learn new things but I also knew that I had to impress them and show them I was ready to do a good job. I was pleased with my performance, and obviously the team were too, so a very good start but this is just the beginning and I know that a lot of hard work is ahead of me to reward this chance.

“I like the team a lot; we worked well together in the test and I feel very comfortable. They want to do things the right way and I can see that there is a lot of determination to succeed, so it is very special for me to be part of that. I?m looking forward to working hard in every area over the winter to ensure I am ready for the start of testing and my first Grand Prix.”

Team principal John Booth said: “We naturally keep a close eye on the junior formulae and Charles is certainly someone we have been watching over the past few years.

“The real barometer however was our Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi last week, where we put him through a series of tough tests to thoroughly evaluate his potential. This was his first time in a Formula One car so it should have been quite daunting, however Charles was extremely focused on what needed to be done and absolutely rose to the challenge. He continued to improve in every area but his race simulation work particularly caught our eye.”

“Winter testing will be upon us before we know it, so it is actually a relatively short space of time ahead with a lot for Charles to get used to, but he is an extremely determined young guy and he worked very well with the team last week. He has an extremely mature head on young shoulders, so I have no doubt that he will be working very hard over the winter to prepare for his debut season.”

Booth added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerome D’Ambrosio for his hard work and important contribution to our team over the past 12 months or more. He has an exciting future to look forward to I’m sure and we wish him every success.”

More information on the 2012 F1 season.

2012 F1 season

Browse all 2012 F1 season articles

Image ?? Virgin Racing

Advert | Go Ad-free


66 comments on Virgin confirm Pic to replace D’Ambrosio

  1. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 27th November 2011, 21:46

    That’s a shame for d’Ambrosio, he wasn’t too bad to be fair. He put in some good performances; I doubt he’ll get a seat anywhere for 2012 though. Hope Charles Pic is decent…. I feel Robert Wickens is more deserving of the seat though.

  2. robk23 (@robk23) said on 27th November 2011, 22:13

    It’s not as if d’Ambrosio did badly, he finished ahead of Timo Glock in the drivers standings this year. Welcome to the farce that is the Virgin/Marussia rookie driver merry-go-round.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 28th November 2011, 2:38

      But I suspect that is because Glock had more retirements.

      • robk23 (@robk23) said on 28th November 2011, 8:05

        You’re right Glock did have more retirements, I’ve just been looking at the results though and d’Ambrosio has 2 14th places whereas Glock’s best finishes were a pair of 15ths. Both of d’Ambrosio’s best finishes were in races where Glock also finished.

        • @robk23

          In Australia Glock was stuck in the garage whilst the team fixed a mechanical problem before he was put back onto the track. I don’t think he was classified.

          Canada is not as unfair, however Glock (His own fault) had a huge lock up near the end of the race and was helpless from then on.

          In the ten races they both completed (not including Australia for obvious reasons) Glock finished ahead 7 times. He also out qualified Jerome 14-5.

          Personally, I’m quite impressed by Jerome. I didn’t think he’d have been closer than Luca was, and he has been.

          However his drivers ranking was somewhat assisted.

  3. Kamui Fan (@kamui-fan) said on 27th November 2011, 22:25

    I feel sorry for Wickens to be honest, as I think he has potential.
    D’Ambrosios had a decent year, done better than di Grassi.
    Pic was fast in GP2 but I the only reason hes been given the seat is his cash. Sad really

  4. Yamashita said on 27th November 2011, 22:26

    Hope He can find a drive in the next few years. He did a good job..

  5. The harsh truth is Pic is probably going to be “Just another Virgin/Marussia driver to get fired after one year and cash injection to the team” after D’Ambrosio and “What was his name 2010 Glock teammate”

  6. taurus (@taurus) said on 27th November 2011, 22:48

    I couldnt even remember Di Grassi’s name until the post two above this one mentioned it. Marussia have to make a big step forward in marketing and race performance next year, to me they’re pretty anonymous.

  7. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 27th November 2011, 22:57

    Note to all rookies: don’t sign for Virgin. Complete waste of time. They said the exact same thing about Di Grassi last year “I think Lucas has a bright future ahead of him”. Where is he now? Rookies can’t prove themselves at all in one year and I thought D’ambrosio had a good season on the whole and showed some good potential. I hope he comes back one day but I can’t see it happening in the near future.

  8. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 27th November 2011, 23:00

    No point in slating Virgin, we would have all made the same decision in their position, Formula 1 is a harsh world.

    I guess for them to keep their No.2 driver he has to really stand out, which D’ambrosio hasn’t really done, but at the end of the day when your at that end of the grid money talks.

  9. realracer (@realracer) said on 27th November 2011, 23:12

    D’ambrosio never really got a fair chance in that car, but he tried his best maximise the potential of it. He never really had a big accident except for in Malaysia due to a brake failure , and managed to at sometimes out-qualify and out-race Timo.
    Sadly this is another driver who has spent most of his life up till now working hard to get into F1 and when he gets to it, his career is over after one season due to circumstances out-width his control.

  10. cubejam (@cubejam) said on 27th November 2011, 23:14

    Another hopeless nobody to replace the hopeless nobody from 2011. Who happened to have replaced the initial hopeless nobody in their first year. This team is hopeless.

  11. f1craze (@rahultajay) said on 27th November 2011, 23:52


  12. Felipe Bomeny (@portugoose) said on 28th November 2011, 0:21

    D’ambrosio is probably going to return to his Renault test/reserve role as I believe he is managed by Éric Bouiller. If not, he might test for the Renault-powered Williams team in 2012.

  13. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th November 2011, 2:59

    Lotus have a future,HRT trying to make one,this team seems like they are going more & more backwards.

  14. Eggry (@eggry) said on 28th November 2011, 3:00

    Another rookie for Virgin. I think Jerome did quite good job as a rookie but another new one come with new year. I don’t know how good he is but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th November 2011, 4:01

    I wonder how Pic’s signing will affect Romain Grosjean’s chances of securing a drive? One of the biggest cards Grosjean had to play was that he is French (or at least that he races with a French licence), but now that Chales Pic is on the grid, he’s lost some of his thunder. Although Eric Boullier was on a “taskforce” to secure the return of the French Grand Prix, and although that organisation believed that getting a French driver into the sport was the key to this, it was never explicitly stated that that French driver had to be Romain Grosjean or that he had to drive for Renault – only that a French driver in the sport was necessary. Charles Pic satisfies that condition, so maybe Romain Grosjean’s stock at Renault has gone down.

    That said, I still think Renault will take Petrov and Grosjean in 2012. After an unnecessary collision and subsequent drive-through at Interlagos, Bruno Senna has proven that he is only good at finishing in a lower place than he qualified in.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.