December 15, 2009
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Lucas di Grassi, at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix
Virgin Racing has announced its takeover of the Manor team, and also confirmed Lucas di Grassi as its second driver alongside Timo Glock. Alvaro Parente will be the team’s test driver.
Di Grassi was runner up in the 2007 GP2 championship, and 3rd in 2009. He was formerly the test driver for Renault, and participated in the Jerez young driver test earlier this month.
“I could never have imagined a debut as perfect as this one,” said di Grassi. “And I believe I am ready for F1. I have worked a lot over the years to get here and I believe it happened just in time. Being here with them makes more sense to me than to be with a veteran organisation. We will debut together, and that detail makes for a special bond too. I am ready to work 24/7 and I am sure I will be able to contribute to the team’s efforts in every stage of our evolution in 2010.”
Virgin Racing have also launched their website: http://www.virginracing.com
December 15, 2009
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Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, Malaysian Grand Prix 2008
Lotus have confirmed that Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be their drivers for 2010, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy getting the test driver slot.
This was confirmed in an announcement made by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, in Kuala Lumpur. Lotus boss Tony Fernandes was also present, along with the two new drivers.
Trulli said: “It is a privilege for me to sign for the new Lotus F1 Racing team. I have been impressed by the long-term vision of the team management and technical staff. Tony has set out very ambitious plans and I am ready to help the team achieve these high targets. I am also pleased to be back working alongside (team technical boss) Mike Gascoyne, someone with whom I have enjoyed previous success at other teams. I get on very well with him and I respect his working style. Lotus is a truly iconic and inspirational brand and it is great that the name is back in Formula 1. We will be hoping to draw inspiration from the heritage of Lotus for our team.”
“I am also delighted to be racing alongside Heikki, someone who I have enjoyed racing against since 2007, and someone else, like me, who brings valuable experience from his time with two of Formula One’s most established teams. I believe that together, we are among the most competitive pairings on the grid, and we will be determined to bring success to Lotus F1 Racing to repay the faith that Tony and the team have shown in us.”
Kovalainen said: “It’s fantastic to be joining Lotus F1 Racing and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead. I recently visited our factory in Norfolk, UK, and was so impressed by seeing how far the team has come in such a short time since it was launched in September, and by how determined everyone is to meet Tony’s ambitious targets. I knew immediately it would be a fantastic opportunity to help them achieve their goals.”
“I believe that appointing two drivers with the experience Jarno and I have shows how determined the team is to go racing in a truly competitive way, and our pairing sends out a very strong message to our competitors.”