Virgin has refused to confirm reports it has already decided to replace Jerome d’Ambrosio with French rookie Charles Pic in 2012.
The French sports daily L’Equipe reported on Wednesday that 21-year-old Pic, fourth in GP2 this year and backed by the Lagardere group, will be Timo Glock’s new teammate. It is believed Pic will test for Virgin, to become Marussia next season, at the forthcoming young drivers’ test in Abu Dhabi.
“We expect after the testing of young drivers and after the end of the season to make our (2012 driver lineup) decision with a public statement,” a team spokesperson told the Belgian news agency Belga.
“The final decision on Timo Glock’s teammate is not done yet,” the official added.
The French sports.fr portal, meanwhile, quoted Pic’s agent as insisting that the youngster has not yet signed up with any team for 2012.
The report said Pic, who has definitely travelled to Abu Dhabi, could also test with Team Lotus/Caterham at Yas Marina.
D’Ambrosio’s manager Benjamin Mignot, overseeing the Belgian’s career for the Gravity group, insisted all is not lost for the 25-year-old.
“I’m not going to tell you that we are looking at being at Ferrari instead of Ferrari,” he joked to Le Soir newspaper.
“But we know that Barrichello is still not confirmed at Williams and there are also seats available at HRT and also Virgin.
“Clearly we are not willing to have any seat at any price, but we believe firmly that Jerome has a place in F1 in 2012,” added Mignot.