Lucas di Grassi On Pole for Manor/Virgin Seat

Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi is on his way to signing a one-year deal with Manor Grand Prix. Although neither of the two parties have yet made the announcement, the current Renault test driver is believed to ink the deal after the British outfit will have secured the financial backing for their 2010 operations.

As revealed by the British magazine Autosport, Di Grassi is also in the race for a seat with Renault, alongside Polish driver Robert Kubica. However, there is a higher chance of landing a seat with the newly entrants rather than with the Enstone based team, as it was the same Kubica who revealed that Renault will look for a more experienced driver as his teammate for 2010.

Manor is currently in talks with Virgin Group for a major sponsorship deal next year, which could lead to a change in name for the British outfit. Virgin's Sir Richard Branson admitted that continuing his contract with Brawn GP for an additional season would be hard to imagine, as the sponsorship rates with the title-winning team have gone up as compared to the start of the 2010 season.

My commitment at the moment is with Renault. There is still one seat to be decided, and I had a very, very successful time here. Renault has helped me a lot, so my commitment is with them. At the moment it is deciding which driver it wants, and I know there are new teams interested in me, but it is difficult at the moment to see which one is going to be the best,” Di Grassi is quoted as saying by Autosport.

As far as his chances of securing a drive next year go, the Brazilian driver rated it at around 70 percent, while admitting that he finds the package disclosed by Manor/Virgin GP the most appealing from all the newly entrants.
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