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Virgin give Jerome D'Ambrosio a racing seat for 2011

Jerome D'Ambrosio
D'Ambrosio spent four seasons in GP2 and was a test driver for Renault

Belgian Jerome D'Ambrosio will partner Germany's Timo Glock in Virgin Racing's Formula 1 driving team next season.

Former GP2 driver D'Ambrosio, 25, replaces Brazilian Lucas di Grassi, who is now without a drive for 2011.

D'Ambrosio had impressed in an evaluation role with Virgin at four of the final five F1 races of 2010 in Singapore, Japan, Korea and Brazil.

Virgin team principal John Booth said: "When we put Jerome in the car he surpassed even our own expectations."

D'Ambrosio has spent the past four seasons competing in the GP2 Series following earlier stints in GP2 Asia, F3000 Euroseries and Formula Renault, while he also held the role of reserve and test driver for the Renault F1 team last season.

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 one to watch.

"He slotted into the team perfectly and everyone took a shine to him. Apart from his obvious skill at the wheel of an F1 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.

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"We can't wait to see what they can achieve together next season."

D'Ambrosio's first outing at the wheel of the new VR-02 will come at the Valencia pre-season test in February.

"I'm thrilled to have achieved my goal of a Formula 1 race seat with Marussia Virgin Racing," said D'Ambrosio.

"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."



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see also
Virgin & Sauber sign test drivers
20 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Virgin Racing
14 Nov 10 |  Drivers & Teams
Di Grassi joins new Virgin team
15 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Manor set for Virgin rebranding
30 Nov 09 |  Formula 1


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