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DATE News (chronologically)
02/23/10
f1
Soucek set to be Virgin reserve driver  UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

02/22/10 (GMM)  Confirmation that Andy Soucek will be Virgin's reserve driver in 2010 is expected within days.

Andy Soucek
We reported last week that the 24-year-old Spaniard, who is the reigning F2 champion, is set to sign with the new British team because confirmed reserve driver Alvaro Parente's sponsorship has fallen through.

Spanish radio Cadena SER now reports that talks about a race seat with Campos and USF1 were also held, and that Soucek also had "three very attractive proposals" to be reserve driver.

The report said Soucek was courted by Sauber and McLaren, and had even scheduled a forthcoming visit to the latter team's Woking headquarters.

The 24-year-old, who also has Austrian citizenship, ultimately decided to sign with Virgin because it was the best overall contract, the report added.

"In a few days (the deal) will be official; surely by the end of the week at (the) Montmelo (Barcelona test)," said Cadena SER.

And form Joe Saward's blog - Virgin Racing announced a while back that Portugal’s Alvaro Parante would be its test and reserve driver. He was due to bring money from Turismo de Portugal, the national tourist board, which is funded by the Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Development. Parente says that a deal was agreed in November but that the tourist authority had decided to back out of the deal. This has knocked a hole in the team’s budget and the word is that the team is now looking for someone to take Parente’s place. The latest whisper is that the job could go to Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek.

02/18/10 (GMM)  Andy Soucek is set to sign as the new British team Virgin's 2010 reserve driver.

The reigning F2 champion, who is 24, said last week: "I think to be third driver is a job I deserve, and I do not have to pay for it. I'm interested in that."

The Spanish sports daily AS said Soucek decided to look more closely at Virgin's offer because he "was tired of waiting for Campos".

"Andy had no confidence in being able to race all year and (therefore) be out of the grands prix forever," the newspaper added.

Virgin's race drivers are Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi.

The vacancy as reserve driver may have emerged due to the withdrawal of Alvaro Parente's sponsorship backing.

Virgin said in December that the Portuguese pay-driver would be its reserve driver in 2010, alongside 20-year-old test driver Luiz Razia.

But it is reported by Britain's Autosport magazine that Portugal's Tourism Institute pulled its backing of Parente, who is 25.

02/18/10 (GMM)  Andy Soucek is set to sign as the new British team Virgin's 2010 reserve driver. The reigning F2 champion, who is 24, said last week: "I think to be third driver is a job I deserve, and I do not have to pay for it.  I'm interested in that."

The Spanish sports daily AS said Soucek decided to look more closely at Virgin's offer because he "was tired of waiting for Campos".

"Andy had no confidence in being able to race all year and (therefore) be out of the grands prix forever," the newspaper added.

Virgin's race drivers are Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi.

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