Charles Pic Rodolfo Gonzalez

Charles Pic has been dropped from Team Lotus’ line-up for the three-day Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ test session, starting today, all but confirming speculation that the Frenchman has been signed by Virgin Racing for the 2012 season.

Pic’s place will be taken by Venezuelan racer Rodolfo González, who will pilot the T128 on the opening day, while Brazil’s Luiz Razia and the United States’ Alex Rossi will drive on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

It will be second outing with the team for the 25-year-old, after he drove for them at last year’s ‘Young Drivers’ test at the same venue (pictured, above right).

“I am really pleased to be back with Team Lotus again in Abu Dhabi,” González said of the announcement.

“Last year I learned a lot in the time I had with the team and, another year on, I am sure I can keep developing on and off-track with this opportunity.”

While Pic’s appointment at Virgin Racing – with whom he will also test at Abu Dhabi – is yet to be officially announced, his departure from the Team Lotus line-up makes sense if he has signed a deal with the Manor Motorsport-run outfit for 2012.

[Images via LAT and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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