A Canadian is at the front of the queue to become the next reserve driver for the Virgin team.
The role is vacant at present following Sakon Yamamoto's contract that covered only the first three grands prix of 2011.
The Toronto based Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail said Robert Wickens, 22, is linked with the role given his new backing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series by Virgin's Russian sponsor and shareholder Marussia.
In the series, he uses a car and overalls coloured in the exact designs of the Formula One team.
The newspaper said the former F2 and GP3 driver's Virgin deal could be in place for the Canadian Grand Prix in June, and possibly much sooner.
The last Canadian in Formula One was 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who lost his BMW seat in 2006.