January 24, 2012
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Jerome D'Ambrosio will join Lotus from Virgin
Former Virgin driver Jerome D’Ambrosio is to join the Renault/Lotus team as a reserve driver.
He made his debut to the sport in 2011, but was dropped at the end of the season to make way for new rookie Charles Pic.
When the team was known as Renault, D’Ambrosio was part of their young driver program, and tested their cars in 2009 and 2010.
Jerome had this to say today:
"It’s a great feeling to be joining Lotus F1 Team. It’s an exciting next step in
I contested a complete season in F1 as a race driver for a smaller team where I
learned a lot about Formula 1. Now, I have the opportunity to work with one of
the top teams with great potential for my future development.
With my recent race experience, I know I can make a valuable contribution. Of
course, I would love to be racing, but racing with a top team.
Being associated with Lotus F1 Team should be more beneficial and this is the
choice I have made. This opportunity is one I couldn’t afford to miss. My desire
to get back in a race seat in the future is motivating me to do the best job
possible in my new position."
November 27, 2011
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Pic will join the Marussia team for 2012
Virgin – soon to be renamed Marussia – have confirmed that Charles Pic has replaced Jerome D’Ambrosio at the team.
Timo Glock has already been confirmed for 2012, and will partner the 21-year-old driver, who finished 4th in this year’s GP2 championship.
This of course leaves Jerome D’Ambrosio without a race seat for next year.
Pic tested for Virgin at the recent young driver’s test, amid speculation that he was to join the team. Today he has said:
"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."
November 9, 2011
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Lotus will be known as Caterham next year
The Lotus vs Lotus battle has finally come to a conclusion, with both teams agreeing to change team names for the 2012 season.
Meanwhile, Virgin will formally change their name to Marussia, who began sponsoring the team several months ago.
Tony Fernandes’ outfit, currently racing as Team Lotus, will soon be known as Caterham. They will race under the name of “Caterham F1 Team” and will use a Caterham chassis.
Team Lotus CEO Riad Asmat had some interesting words to say about their team moving away from the Lotus-Renault dispute:
"We are proud of what we have achieved by bringing the Team Lotus name back to
Formula 1 when many tried and although we are sad to say goodbye to Team Lotus
we are excited about owning our own future and being in control of our own destiny.
Now we have no one to be compared to. We make our own history and we will remain
green and yellow.
Now we look forward to an exciting future racing under our new team name of
Caterham F1 Team. Please continue to support our very special spirit of never say
die and support us on the track as we move up the field and demonstrate that the
good do win."
The Renault team, which is sponsored by Group Lotus (who operate Lotus road cars), will now take control of the Lotus name. Earlier this year, the British High Court ruled that Renault did not have the rights to use the “Team Lotus” name, which has now been settled with this announcement.
November 11, 2010
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Nikolay Fomenko, owner of Marussia, with Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock
Marussia, a Russian sports car manufacturer, has announced that it has invested in and acquired a “significant stake” in the Virgin Racing team. As well as this securing the team’s participation in the sport, it also means that the team will be renamed Marussia Virgin Racing next year.
For much of this year, word around the paddock was that a lack of investment, particularly from Richard Branson, was stunting Virgin’s progress. With this new company on board, the team claim that they can now “cement their place on the F1 grid”.
Marussia logos already appear on the Virgin cars, as they have sponsored them all year, and this investment is to promote Marussia’s venture into the European sports car market.