Lotus F1 Team third driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio will compete for the team in the Italian Grand Prix as a replacement for Romain Grosjean who received a one-race ban after the last race in Spa.
Jérôme – who contested the 2011 Formula 1 season as a driver for the Marussia Virgin Racing team – had a seat fitting in the race chassis on Sunday night in Belgium and is working closely with the team to ensure a seamless transition from third driver to race driver for Monza.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
“When we signed Jérôme as our third driver we signed a man who is highly motivated, fresh, talented and who contested the full 2011 season. We hope that this will pay dividends when he drives the car this weekend in Monza. We know that Jérôme is well integrated into the team and that he did a good job when he drove the E20 at the Mugello test. Now he has the challenge of a Grand Prix at the challenging circuit of Monza, in a car which is capable of finishing on the podium. One thing is for sure, he’s half Italian and I think I know which driver the spectators will support apart from Fernando ! It’s a tough task for Jérôme, but we will be supporting him in every way to achieve a good result.”
Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Third Driver
“My desire for 2012 has always been to get back into the seat of a Formula 1 car so I am grabbing this opportunity with both hands. Monza is a fantastic circuit and I can’t wait to take to the track on Friday. As third driver I have worked with the team at every Grand Prix, attending all the briefings and meetings that the race drivers do, so I am well prepared in this respect. Monza is a superb circuit, but it is also quite a technical one so I am not underestimating the task ahead of me. I want to reward the faith that the team has in me with a good haul of points from the race. I will hand the wheel back to Romain after Sunday’s race and I hope that this one showing in Italy will allow me to show my capabilities fully.”
Lotus F1 Team’s Top Ten Facts about Jérôme D’Ambrosio
1. He’s so eager he sometimes arrives at the track before all the engineers.
2. His last race was the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.
3. He was nicknamed ‘custard’ by his last team, in recognition of the similarity named Ambrosia custard brand.
4. He is The Master. Or, at least, he was the inaugural International Formula Master champion in 2007.
5. He is the first Belgian to race in F1 since Bertrand Gachot in 1995.
6. He likes taxi drivers.
7. If he wasn’t an F1 driver, he’d like to be an airline pilot.
8. He has very blue eyes.
9. His name generates ‘about’ 1,370,000,000 results on Google
10. At 1.72m he’s the team’s shortest driver.