Q & A with Jerome D'Ambrosio
||Thursday, November 18th 2010, 17:16 GMT
Jerome D'Ambrosio is very much in contention for a Virgin Racing Formula 1 seat for 2011, having impressed the team in four Friday practice outings at recent grands prix, and also tested for it on the first day of the Abu Dhabi rookie sessions.
But while the sight of D'Ambrosio in Virgin colours has become very familiar, he is also a Renault junior driver, and it was the latter team that ran him on day two at Yas Marina. Afterwards AUTOSPORT heard the Belgian's thoughts on his two teams and his 2011 prospects.
Q. How does the Renault compare to the Virgin?
Jerome D'Ambrosio: "It's not fair to compare the two cars and the two teams. The only thing that I can say is that it was a great day today. I learned that Virgin taught me a lot of things over the Fridays and yesterday and it contributed to the fact that today went pretty well as well.
"In terms of car performance, you cannot compare it. You cannot compare Renault, who have years and years of F1 and Virgin, which is a rookie team. They have done massively well compared to the other rookies and I've enjoyed being with them. Today was something exceptional as well. Renault is a top team and driving the car was fantastic."
Q. What was your programme today - you did a quick lap towards the end?
JD: "I think it was pretty similar for everyone. You do aero testing in the morning and then basic testing in the afternoon and in the end we went for a fast run."
Q. Was that qualifying-spec with low fuel?
JD: "I'm not 100 per cent sure what the fuel was, they just told me new tyres and let's go. But obviously it was quite quick so it was not far from it."
Q. From the Virgin that you knew well to the Renault, how much adapting did you need?
JD: "It's fairly natural. Obviously the car has much more downforce, but it's quite natural. You need some laps to adapt, but because the car is so efficient, it comes quite naturally."
Q. Do today's results improve your chances of finding a seat for next year?
JD: "I don't know about the end result, time and everything. It's good to be in that position because the times were pretty good, but the most important thing for me was to satisfy the team to see how I worked, the speed and everything. They were pretty happy, so that's good. Hopefully I'll be able to transform this into a race seat in
Q. You had a brief spin earlier in the day, so how easy was it to be able to attack in an unfamiliar car?
JD: "I think it's part of the driver, to be able to make a reset of your brain. I had to analyse why I did it after and not make the mistake again - I ran a bit wide on the kerb. You have to analyse that but once you understand that you press the reset button and start all over again. It's not just over a mistake, but over a bad weekend as
Q. Virgin has been positive about your performances. How close are you to securing a drive?
JD: "There are many things going on, but what is important for me is to do the job in the car. After that, time will tell."