Virgin Racing has completed its driver line-up for its debut F1 season by confirming the signing of Lucas di Grassi for the 2010 campaign.
Di Grassi will join forces with ex-Toyota driver Timo Glock as he makes the move into F1, having spent the last four seasons competing in GP2.
Three of those four seasons have seen the Brazilian driver finish inside the top three in the championship standings, with his performance in 2008 drawing particular praise after he finished just twelve points behind title winner Giorgio Pantano despite missing the first six races of the season.
Aside from his GP2 duties, di Grassi also held a test driver role with the Renault team, and was on track for the team during the recent young driver session at Jerez.
"I could never imagine a F1 debut as perfect as this one," di Grassi said. "Entering F1 with John Booth and his crew, the same people with whom I won the 2005 Macau F3 race – one of the greatest successes in my career – is really beyond perfection I should say. And I believe I am ready for F1.
"I have worked a lot during these years to get here and I believe it happened just in time. I always had great expectations about the day I would enter F1, and I should thanks everyone who was with me all these years, and I shall say John and his team are among those very people I consider helped me to get there much before we signed the F1 contract.
"Being here with them makes more sense to me than to be with a veteran organisation. We will debut together, and that detail makes for a special bond too. I guess all that will make me stronger and more confident as I will be among old friends. I am ready to work twenty four seven and I am sure I will be able to contribute with the team efforts in every stage of our evolution in 2010."
Fellow GP2 graduates Alvaro Parente and Luis Razia will take on the role of test drivers with the team. Parente had previously been linked with a seat at rival newcomers Campos Meta.