Max Chilton will occupy the empty seat at Marussia according to the president of the Russian supercar company which holds a significant stake in the Formula 1 team.
Speaking to the Russian media, Nikolay Fomenko of Marussia Motors, confirmed the teams test and reserve driver – 21-year-old Chilton – would replace the Caterham bound Charles Pic.
“This is our third driver Max Chilton, who will replace Charles Pic next year,” he replied when asked who would partner Timo Glock.
Fomenko also played down reports the team is suffering from increased debt and is therefore chasing pay drivers, but says the situation wasn’t helped by the loss of 10th place in the constructors’ championship.
“Our debt is high but it is not $125 million (£77m) as I have read recently. This figure is wrong,” he added.
“We have no additional income. We could have, but Charles Pic could not contain Petrov. We were fighting for the 10th place with Caterham and unfortunately, without KERS, we did not succeed.”
The team suffered a $80m (£49m) loss during the 2011 season which they blamed on “significant investment in infrastructure and a new factory.”
It isn’t clear whether Chilton would bring significant backing to the team, although his father is vice-chairman of Aon which sponsors his two sons in the BTCC (Tom) and GP2 Series (Max).