Virgin name Yamamoto as reserve for opening three rounds 23 Mar 2011
Virgin have announced Sakon Yamamoto will be the teams reserve driver for the first three Grands Prix of the season. Although Yamamoto isnt expected to enjoy any on-track practice action at the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese rounds, he will be present at all three events to assist the teams race drivers Timo Glock and Jerome DAmbrosio.
We are delighted to welcome Sakon Yamamoto to Marussia Virgin Racing as our Reserve Driver for the first three race weekends, said Virgin team principal John Booth. Sakon will spend the weekends observing the race drivers and attending all engineering meetings to ensure he is up to speed should there be an occasion where a last minute substitution is required.
In keeping with our commitment to nurturing young talent, our Reserve Driver strategy is to help a number of drivers gain hard to come by track time and so we will be operating a roster featuring a number of racers that we are interested in evaluating during the forthcoming season.
The 28 year-old Japanese driver has competed in 21 Grands Prix since 2006. His most recent Formula One experience was gained last season with HRT where, originally as test driver, he replaced the teams regular drivers Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok at several races.
I am pleased to work with Marussia Virgin Racing in Australia, said Yamamoto. I really appreciate them giving me a chance to be here. The team has made a big step forward this year and I believe that I can contribute to their car development through my experience.
"As everyone is aware it is a very difficult time in Japan right now and any good news is much welcomed. I hope the people back home will feel positive about my latest F1 role as I would like to do everything possible to help them."
Yamamoto began his Formula One career in 2005 with Jordan. He has also held test and race roles with Super Aguri in 2006 and 2007 and as a development driver with Renault in 2008.
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