Charles Pic will race for the Marussia team in the 2012 Formula 1 season, Virgin Racing confirmed on Sunday.
The Frenchman was strongly linked to the drive after having run with the team during the young driver test in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.
Pic, who has spent the last two years racing in GP2, will replace Jerome D'Ambrosio at the team, which will be renamed Marussia next year.
He will race alongside Timo Glock.
"I'm very happy to be making the step up to Formula 1 with Marussia Virgin Racing," said Pic. "As a driver you always feel you are ready for the next opportunity but in Abu Dhabi last week it was a tough test.
"The team gave me some fantastic opportunities to learn new things but I also knew that I had to impress them and show them I was ready to do a good job.
"I was pleased with my performance, and obviously the team were too, so a very good start but this is just the beginning and I know that a lot of hard work is ahead of me to reward this chance.
"I like the team a lot; we worked well together in the test and I feel very comfortable. They want to do things the right way and I can see that there is a lot of determination to succeed, so it is very special for me to be part of that. I'm looking forward to working hard in every area over the winter to ensure I am ready for the start of testing and my first Grand Prix."
Team boss John Booth added: "I'm very pleased to welcome Charles to Marussia Virgin Racing as Timo's team-mate for 2012. We naturally keep a close eye on the junior formulae and Charles is certainly someone we have been watching over the past few years.
"The real barometer however was our Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi last week, where we put him through a series of tough tests to thoroughly evaluate his potential. This was his first time in a Formula 1 car so it should have been quite daunting, however Charles was extremely focused on what needed to be done and absolutely rose to the challenge. He continued to improve in every area but his race simulation work particularly caught our eye.
"Winter testing will be upon us before we know it, so it is actually a relatively short space of time ahead with a lot for Charles to get used to, but he is an extremely determined young guy and he worked very well with the team last week. He has an extremely mature head on young shoulders, so I have no doubt that he will be working very hard over the winter to prepare for his debut season."
Booth was also thankful to D'Ambrosio, who made his grand prix debut with the team this year.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jerome D'Ambrosio for his hard work and important contribution to our team over the past 12 months or more. He has an exciting future to look forward to I'm sure and we wish him every success."