22 year old Canadian Robert Wickens have been named the most lkely to get a reserve seat at the backmarker team of Marussia Virgin, and even as replacement for Jérôme D´Ambrosio. But that has nothing on it, says Virgin.
Not long ago it was revealed that the sponsors of D´Ambrosio had problems paying what they owed to the team, and now the rookie´s Formula One future suddenly looks threatened. But in the background is Robert Wickens, a 22 year-old GP3 runner-up, backed by Marussia, and seemingly ready to take up the challenge.
Virgin team boss John Booth, says about Wickens:
“He is in our young driver stable but we certainly don’t plan on putting him in a F1 car yet. Robert is concentrating on his Renault series. He is doing a good job in that. We will then take it from there,” Booth said.
At the same time it seems some sort of agreement have been made between the sponsors and Virgin. According to Booth, D´Ambrosio is not in any danger of losing his seat before the season ends.
“Everything is fine with him,” Booth said. “You can never say never because you can end up looking a fool, but, as things stand now, I can’t envisage anything changing with Jerome until the end of the season.”
Personally I don´t se the problem. Sure the sponsors need to fork out the promised cash, but D´Ambrosio is doing a better job than his much more experienced team mate Timo Glock who in my eyes have always been an overrated driver at best. The money is there. Richard Branson and Nicolai Fomenko has millions to spare to put into the team, so stop whinging and find some fast drivers. If D´Ambrosio is faster than Glock and Wickens test for them and is also fast, the decision should be simple.