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Marussia Virgin Racing has confirmed that Charles Pic will be joining the team for the 2012 Formula 1 season, replacing Jérôme d’Ambrosio. The Frenchman, who will be 22 years of age by the time the new campaign begins, has spent this year in GP2 and achieved two race wins and three second places.
Reports of a Pic to Marussia deal have been all but confirmed for several weeks, not least after the Frenchman was given an extra morning of running in the Young Driver test which took place at Yas Marina after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I’m very happy to be making the step up to Formula 1 with Marussia Virgin Racing,” he says. “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.”
The signing, which came via an official press release three and a half hours after the Brazilian Grand Prix, has also been welcomed by Team Principal John Booth.
“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.
"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. 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.”
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.”
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