SAO PAULO, Nov 27, 2011 (AFP) - Virgin Racing on Sunday chose French driver Charles Pic to race for their rebranded Marussia team in the 2012 season alongside Germanys Timo Glock.
The 21-year-old, who finished second in the GP2 support series this season, will take the place of Belgium's Jerome d'Ambrosio in the line-up.
"Im very happy to be making the step up to Formula One with Marussia Virgin Racing," said Pic. "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.
John Booth, the team principal of Marussia Virgin Racing, added: "The real barometer 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. That was his first time in a Formula 1 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."
“I’m very pleased to welcome Charles as Timo (Glock)’s team-mate for 2012,” says Booth. “We naturally keep a close eye on the junior formulae and Charles is certainly someone we have been watching over the past few years.
Booth also shared his gratitude for outgoing Belgian driver d’Ambrosio, who debuted at the start of 2011:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jérôme 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.”