D'Ambrosio completes Virgin line-up

Tue, 21 Dec 10:15:00 2010

Belgian driver Jerome D'Ambrosio will partner Timo Glock at Formula One team Virgin Racing in 2011.

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The 25-year-old was given practice time by the Dinnington-based squad at the Singapore, Japanese, Korean and Brazilian Grands Prix last season.

He then underwent a half-day programme at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test following the season's final race.

He impressed so much that Virgin have opted to reward him with a one-year contract.

"I'm thrilled to have achieved my goal of a Formula One race seat with Marussia Virgin Racing," D'Ambrosio said.

"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's future. I would like to thank everyone at Marussia Virgin Racing for the faith they have shown in me."

D'Ambrosio arrives from the GP2 feeder series, in which he has competed for the last four seasons.

He has also featured in the GP2 Asia Series, International Formula Master, the F3000 Euroseries and Formula Renault, and performed the role of reserve and test driver for the Renault Formula One team.

Virgin team principal John Booth said: "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 one to watch, 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't wait to see what they can achieve together next season."

D'Ambrosio replaces Lucas di Grassi, who partnered Glock at the outfit who principally use computational fluid dynamics to design their race cars: the Virgin VR-02 will be the second incarnation in their second season in F1.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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