• F1 Doors closing on A1GP Champion Adam Carroll •
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.
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.
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.
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.