Robert Wickens Robert Wickens

It seems as though Robert Wickens will be confirmed as Virgin Racing’s new reserve driver at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

We reported last month that the Canadian – currently racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship with the support of Virgin’s major backer, Marussia – was next in line to take over the little-utilised role from Sakon Yamamoto, whose contract only covered the first few races of the 2011 season.

A report in Toronto’s Globe & Mail newspaper hinted that a series of problems had held up the 22-year-old being confirmed in the role at the Turkish Grand Prix – where he attended the race as a guest of the team – but that these problems had now been overcome, which would then lead to the team confirming Wickens’ promotion.

There are also reports that Wickens could actually take on a Friday driver role if – as is rumoured in recent weeks – Jérôme d’Ambrosio’s sponsors are still behind on their payments.

The announcement would see Wickens become Canada’s first representative in an F1 cockpit since 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who left the sport in mid-2006.

[Images via LAT]

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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.