The Virgin Racing team has fulfilled its promise of announcing the driver line up for 2011 ahead of Christmas. This morning 25 year old Jerome d’Ambrosio was confirmed in the seat alongside Timo Glock at Virgin.
D’Ambrosio did some Friday running for the team at the end of the season where he was evaluated. He ran in Singapore, Japan, Korea and Brazil car at the Abu Dhabi young guns test in November. The Belgian has spent the last four seasons racing in GP2, a former team mate of Kamui Kobayashi at DAMS, he is managed by Gravity Sports management, which is part of the empire of Gerard Lopez, owner of the Lotus Renault GP team. Next season the Virgin team will have the support of Russian carmaker Marussia.
The move means no place for former Renault Driver Development Programme graduate Lucas di Grassi, who struggled to match Glock’s pace this season.
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.”