F1 »

Parente a Virgin no more as deal falls through; Soucek to benefit?

For Alvaro Parente, the dream of being an official F1 test driver with Virgin Racing in 2010 already appears to have been cruelly shattered, as one of the promising young Portuguese star's key sponsors backtracks on its pledge of financial support
Alvaro Parente's test driving agreement with F1 2010 newcomer Virgin Racing looks to have turned sour before the season has even got underway, with the revelation that the GP2 Series and A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race-winner has lost his spot after one of his key sponsors failed to produce the promised goods – as reigning FIA Formula Two Champion Andy Soucek prepares to step in.

Parente was unveiled as one of Virgin's two test drivers for the forthcoming campaign alongside Luiz Razia at the team's official London launch back in mid-December, and many viewed the opportunity as a justified promotion for one of the most highly-regarded young stars currently bubbling under.

However, the failure of the Institute for Tourism of Portugal (ITP) to see through its commitment of financial support to the 25-year-old – reportedly neglecting to fill in the necessary contractual paperwork to seal the deal, and thereby reneging on its prior memorandum of understanding – has left Parente high-and-dry, and dashed his dream of finally becoming a part of the F1 circus.

“ITP decided, for reasons that I and my representatives are unaware of, not to fulfill the agreement with Virgin Racing,” the understandably disappointed and frustrated Porto native explained in an interview with sports newspaper A Bola. “My representatives, as well as those of Virgin Racing, have tried repeatedly to contact ITP officials, but have never been able to get any reply.

“The behaviour of ITP and the consequences have caused damage to my career, and means that I will have to start from the beginning in terms of acquiring relevant backing and undergoing negotiations to further myself. It is irresponsible of ITP to shun their commitments in this manner – and for me very aggravating.”

Parente's bad news, however, might yet transpire to be good news for Soucek, who appears to be on the verge of agreeing terms to be Virgin's reserve driver in 2010, with Spanish sports daily AS claiming that the 24-year-old has grown 'tired of waiting for Campos' and has 'no confidence' that the beleaguered Madrid-based outfit will complete or even start the season, after he was linked with the vacant race cockpit there alongside fellow F1 rookie Bruno Senna.

“I think to be third driver is a job I deserve,” Soucek mused of the Virgin possibility, “and I do not have to pay for it. I'm interested in that.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alvaro Parente [pic credit: Virgin Racing]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Ash Miller - Unregistered

February 18, 2010 5:12 PM

A great shame as another proven talent is drowned under the sea of monetary hardship... On a lighter note, i hope those virgin jackets are for sale once the team comes to the circus in Bahrain...theyre awesome!

MeymacAnthony - Unregistered

February 18, 2010 6:10 PM

Hold on - Parente out as Portugese Tourist Office has not paid its dues - yet ,assuming your quote is correct, Soucek will be in - without having to pay! Am I missing summat?



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.