Amid the gloom covering the debut of the new GP2 Series, there was a ray of light for Nico Rosberg who, can exclusively reveal, has signed a testing contract with the BMW WilliamsF1 team.

It is not known when the news will be officially confirmed, but the GP2 driver will have his first outing at Silverstone next week.

The 19-year old has had outings with the team at Barcelona and Valencia in the past, and has, in effect, beaten rival Nelson Piquet Jr to the job. The Brazilian also tested for Williams - providing the media with ample head-to-head stories - but failed to impress when he crashed a BAR while also testing for the team at Jerez in February.

Williams has decided that it needs a second test driver this season, despite Antonio Pizzonia still being on the driving strength. Some sources suggest that Pizzonia has lost focus since losing the race seat to Nick Heidfeld, and has been underperforming, although the team apparently still considered employing the Brazilian at Imola this weekend should either Heidfeld or Webber succumb to the injuries they were carrying at the start of the week.

Nico's father Keke drove for Williams between 1982-'85, winning the world championship in his first season with the team. Nico is currently driving for the new ART team in GP2.