Caterham have confirmed Charles Pic will drive for them in 2013.
Pic has joined the team on a “multi-year” contract.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “We are thrilled that Charles has decided to join us for his second season in F1 and beyond. We are all looking forward to working with a young driver who has clearly shown in his first season in F1 that he has the pace, racecraft and demeanour to help us achieve our goals.
“Throughout the 2012 season we have been monitoring the progress that Charles has made, challenging us on several occasions in qualifying, and it is clear that he is a special talent. As the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced team mate and we are looking forward to seeing him develop further within the environment we will provide in 2013 and beyond.
“We will continue growing together, and the energy and image he will bring to our team and his partners will be a very positive influence on the seasons that lie ahead. Being able to make this announcement before the end of the current season gives us the chance now to allow Charles and the team to prepare fully for the 2013 season and quickly learn how to maximise the performance benefits of the Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology powertrain that will be new to him.”
Pic said: “I am very proud to be able to confirm that I am joining Caterham F1 Team next year and I’m looking forward to many seasons of successful racing co-operation.”
“I am very excited about starting my second year in F1 with a team that has so much potential,” he added. “Caterham F1 Team has everything in place to help it move into a position to fight with a number of teams ahead. I know how determined the team is to keep progressing and I am looking forward to playing my part in helping them move up the grid.”
With Pic joining the team for next year, one of Caterham’s current drivers will have to make way, leaving Heikki Kovalainen or Vitaly Petrov potentially without a drive in 2013.
Renault Sport F1 managing director Jean-Francois Caubet endorsed the hiring of a French driver, saying: “We are always motivated to see promising drivers in our partner teams and Charles is no exception.
“Additionally, France remains the largest Renault market and having another young, dynamic French driver join the Renault ‘stable’ will give us further branding, marketing and PR opportunities, both for our F1 involvement and road car range in France and the rest of Europe. We look forward to working with him closely over the coming years.”
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