Marussia intends to keep Pic beyond 2012

Marussia intends to keep Charles Pic, the team’s new French rookie, for more than a single season.

When known as Virgin, the team ousted Timo Glock’s 2010 and 2011 teammates – Lucas di Grassi and Jerome d’Ambrosio respectively – after a single season each. The latest in the pay-driver hotseat is GP2 driver Pic, 21.

“I think there is some long term potential for him,” said team chief executive Andy Webb told the Daily Mail. “I’m looking really to see if he can go forward for more than one year.”

With its 2012 car not yet ready, Marussia is the only team sitting out this week’s Jerez test. Although also without new single seaters launched yet, Mercedes and HRT are running this week with their 2011 cars.

“I think it is a setback,” admitted team boss John Booth. “We’ve taken on a huge challenge following the exit of Nick Wirth and to build a new car from scratch is demanding, but we are certainly up for that challenge.

“We have decided that it is the best thing for us to reach Barcelona initially with the 2011 car, and then for the second Barcelona test with the 2012 car. That’s the plan.”