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Carroll hoping to make step up to F1 UPDATE The A1GP champion from Portadown had been most closely linked to the new Manor Grand Prix team but, as expected, it has been re-branded as Virgin Racing and at the official launch yesterday it was revealed that Brazilian Luca di Grassi would be the second driver alongside Timo Glock.

Adam Carroll
The expanded 26-car grid for next season is steadily filling up with only a handful of places left at Sauber, Renault, Toro Rosso, Campos and USF1.

Carroll, who showed stunning form to win the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport for Team Ireland earlier in the year, has remained tight-lipped, only revealing recently that he was “in the middle of negotiations with an F1 team”.

He gave no indication which team it was but, with the Virgin announcement, his options appear to be narrowing.

The former Brawn team, now Mercedes Grand Prix, have yet to announce a replacement for world champion Jenson Button who has switched to McLaren but it is looking increasingly likely that Michael Schumacher will return to partner Nico Rosberg.

The second Brawn driver this year, Rubens Barrichello, has been confirmed as Rosberg’s replacement at Williams where he will drive alongside young German Nico Hulkenberg while Heikki Kovalainen, ousted at McLaren to make way for Button, has joined the new Lotus team where he will partner Jarno Trulli.

Robert Kubica has signed for Renault but with the French manufacturer about to sell a 75 per cent stake in the team to a private buyer it remains to be seen whether the highly-rated Pole will complete the move. No second driver has been named so far.

Bruno Senna will race for Spanish team Campos with veteran Pedro de la Rosa the preferred choice to partner the Brazilian, the nephew of Ayrton Senna.

The two teams who so far have revealed little of their plans are Sauber, formerly BMW, and USF1, first American-base team in over two decades. gpgrid.com

12/02/09 Adam Carroll has confirmed he is “in the middle of negotiations” for a Formula One drive in 2010.

Carroll was one of a host of big name guests at the annual Champions of Motorsport dinner in Belfast which raised more than £25,000 for Action Medical Research, a leading children's research charity.

The A1GP champion from Portadown took on the role of guest speaker along with another F1-related Ulsterman, Bob Bell of Renault and although he steered clear of revealing his plans for next year, Carroll said he was “hopeful” of getting his big break.

“We're in the middle of negotiations with one of the new teams coming into F1 and I'm hopeful of winning a drive and making the final step to the top of the sport,” said Carroll. zzzz

He has been most closely linked to the new Manor Motorsport team, which the latest FIA list of teams for 2010 has revealed will be renamed Virgin Grand Prix, although no official announcement has been made.

Manor (or Virgin) have already signed ex-Toyota driver Timo Glock and team boss John Booth seemed to suggest at the weekend that Luca di Grassi was in pole position for the second seat.

Booth is reported to have told the South China Morning Post:

“Hopefully, we should be able to announce the second driver in a couple of weeks.

“There is a possibility he may have won the Macau Grand Prix before.”

Carroll has not won in Macau, but Brazilian di Grassi won the prestigious F3 race for Manor in 2005.

Places remain open in a number of other teams including Lotus, Campos, USF1 and of course, Renault.

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