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Pic ready for baptism of fire

Wednesday 7th December 2011

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Pic ready for baptism of fire

Pic ready for baptism of fire

Virgin's new recruit, Charles Pic, won't have much time to adjust to life in Formula One before the Australian GP but he's ready for the challenge.

The Frenchman had his first taste of F1 during the recent Young Driver's Test in Abu Dhabi and is likely to have just six more days of action before arriving in Australia for the season opener. Teams have twelve days of pre-season testing available to them but this time will need to be split between Pic and his team-mate, Timo Glock.

"I am not worried about it, but I need to be aware of it," Pic said of the limited time available to him.

"It means I need to set up a timetable to make sure I can learn things in a different way. Six days of testing is a very short period of time, and not quite enough to be ready for Melbourne. So we need to set up a good programme so that the two months in winter can be used for the best."

"I am not afraid of anything, but I am fully aware it is going to be tough, and I will have to work hard. But I am not concerned - I want to do the best job possible."

The 21-year-old will need guidance as he begins his career in F1 and he admits he'll be looking to Glock and his mentor Olivier Panis for help.

"I think that is a real opportunity," he said of teaming up with the German.

"It is an opportunity to have him as a team-mate, because he is a great driver with a great deal of experience.

"It gives me an opportunity to learn things at the beginning of the year - and I will try and learn as much as I can so I can move ahead as quickly as possible early in the season."

Panis is well aware of the challenges that face the youngster.

"Of course you need time," said the former Toyota driver.

"F1 is not easy. It is complicated and seven days for tests is not normal, but the partnership with McLaren and the simulator will help him a great deal, so that will have to be put to good use before the first race.

"He was outstanding in how he adapted in Abu Dhabi, and we are lucky to have him here. I won't need to teach him to drive because he does it very well, but I will help with his approach and what F1 requires - with the media, promotion, and being a member of the team.

"My job will be to help him, maybe not give him comfort - but advise about F1, the politics of it, and make sure he has the right mind set and get better and better all the time."

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