Virgin to announce reserve role for Wickens image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Robert Wickens is set to be confirmed as Virgin’s new reserve driver.

We reported late last month that the 22-year-old Canadian was at the front of the queue for the role after Sakon Yamamoto’s contract covered only the first races of 2011.

But some unknown problems held up the deal, despite Wickens being strongly backed in the Formula Renault 3.5 series by Virgin’s Russian sponsor and shareholder Marussia.

The Toronto newspaper Globe and Mail insists the hurdles have now been overcome and Wickens – who attended the recent Turkish grand prix with Virgin – will be unveiled this week as reserve driver in time for Barcelona.

A Friday driving role is also on the cards, amid recent rumours it will be Wickens who takes over the race cockpit if Jerome d’Ambrosio’s sponsors do not pay up.