Yamamoto signs Virgin deal

Sakon Yamamoto is to be reserve driver at Virgin Racing for the first three races of the season, in Melbourne, Sepang and Shanghai.

Yamamoto had a similar deal with HRT in 2010 and ended up contesting seven grands prix for the team after Karun Chandhok's tenure of the second car alongside Bruno Senna came to an end.

The 28-year-old Japanese driver has 20 F1 starts in total to his name, having made his debut with Super Aguri in 2006 and then driven for Spyker.

Yamamoto will be part of the team debriefs at races but it is not yet known if he will have seat time in first free practice at any of the first three grands prix as the team will look to the experienced Timo Glock to gain as much feedback as possible and second driver, Belgian Jermome D'Ambrosio, is inexperienced.

Virgin Racing team principal John Booth said, however: "We will help a number of drivers gain hard to come by track time and will operate a roster testing a number we are interested in evaluating during the season."

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