Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek has been signed as Virgin Racing’s new test and reserve driver, which sees the Spaniard stepping into the role vacated by the team’s previous reserve driver, Álvaro Parente, who lost his role due to sponsorship issues.
Soucek previously graced the F1 stage in a test role for Williams in December’s young driver session at Jerez, a drive which he earned courtesy of winning the F2 title.
Soucek’s role will see him on standby at every Grand Prix weekend to cover for regular drivers, Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, should the need eventuate. The 24-year-old will also continue to participate in other racing series over the year.
"I am thrilled to be joining Virgin Racing," Andy said. "This role offers me a great opportunity to prepare myself for the Formula 1 environment, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie.
"I look forward to learning from Timo and Lucas as well as soaking up as much information as possible from engineering meetings and time on the simulator. I would like to thank John Booth [Team Principal] and Nick Wirth [Technical Director] in particular for the faith they have shown in me at this stage in my career."
"We are delighted to welcome Andy Soucek to Virgin Racing," Booth added. "He had a very good season in Formula 2 last year and a positive F1 test with Williams. He is certainly someone we have been keeping a close eye on, as we believe he has a great deal of potential. We expect him to be a real asset to our development programme with the VR-01 and at the same time he provides the experience we need, should he be required to deputise for one of the race drivers at short notice."
[Image via Dubai Autodrome]
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