Pic of the bunch at Young Driver test day

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FRENCH F1 driver Charles Pic impressed Virgin Racing boss John Booth on day two of their Young Driver Tests in Abu Dhabi.

The youngster was in action at Yas Marina circuit on Wednesday, having got his debut run in a Formula One car on Tuesday afternoon.

Virgin Racing were appraising the 21-year-old’s potential with an evaluation programme, although they ran into some technical problems that limited his track time.

The driver rumoured to be lined up to replace Belgian Jérôme D’Ambrosio for next season’s FIA World Championship was delighted with his second day in the car.

He said: “This morning I was still getting used to the car and working to optimise my driving.”

“By this afternoon I was happy with the car and all the new things like using DRS through the lap I just kept getting better and better at.”

“I am very happy with my second day in the car and once again I have learned a lot.”

“Thanks to the team again for making everything comfortable for me.” Booth admitted he was impressed with the young star, adding: “We were slightly delayed leaving the garage this morning, having waited for new front suspension and brake components to arrive overnight from the factory.”

“With the work that Charles was able to complete, he has done a good job and worked well with the team.”

Canadian prospect Robert Wickens has also been behind the wheel for Virgin this week, days after he took control of the MVR-02 for Free Practice 1 in Abu Dhabi.

This was a reward for winning the World Series by Renault FR3.5 Championship last month.

The race itself on Sunday was a disappointing one for the team, as Timo Glock finished 19th and D’Ambrosio was forced to retire on lap 18 with a braking issue.

Booth said: “Given our record of reliability it is disappointing that we haven’t achieved a two-car finish in the last two races, however this will be our strong focus for Brazil.”

The final Grand Prix of the season takes place next weekend in São Paulo, Brazil.