Settling into his new role (Pic not pictured) - Sutton Images

The French are finally back in F1 with Charles Pic race deal with Marussia for 2012, and to get him through the rigours of becoming a fully fledged Formula One driver, he’s looking to get experience off the last successful French driver in the sport.

Any guesses who it is?

Yes, that’s right, it’s Olivier Panis, former Ligier/Prost, BAR and Toyota man, looking to pass on a wise word or two to the youngster. And we’re sure they’re words laced with experience – Panis won the Monaco Grand Prix in the wet, from 14th on the grid, don’t you know!

Here’s a brief pictorial look at the career of what Top Gear called “France’s second best racing driver”, who now spends his weekends drifting hatchbacks on ice. Really.

  1. Poor Pic. Hope he’s got another drive lined up for 2013. Virgin’s revolving door policy for rookies is one reason they’re at the back of the grid.

    • Avatar of Jimmy Weeks

      It’s more about money. Di Grassi lost a sponsor so they dropped him and d’Ambrosio was struggling too so that’s why he went. Obviously sponsors soon realise that there’s not a whole lot of value in doing F1 if no one ever sees you. The difference with Pic is that his family are funding him, through their business interests, so he’ll have a better chance of paying up again for 2013. I don’t think it’s by any means MVR’s preference to keep dropping rookies, it just happens to be an economic must because they keep running out of cash.

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