Soucek steps up for Virgin drive

Virgin Racing have signed Formula Two champion Andy Soucek as their test and reserve driver ahead of their debut F1 season.

The 24-year-old from Spain replaces the Portuguese Alvaro Parente who lost the role after the Tourism Institute of Portugal backed out of a sponsorship deal. Soucek will now deputise for drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi at all 19 grands prix this year.

Soucek said: "This role offers me a great opportunity to prepare myself for the Formula One environment, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie. I hope my experience can contribute a great deal to the development of the car and team in order to help us progress as quickly as possible."