Lotus confirms Jerome d'Ambrosio will replace Romain Grosjean at Monza

Lotus has confirmed that its reserve driver Jerome d'Ambrosio will take Romain Grosjean's seat for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix

Lotus confirms Jerome d'Ambrosio will replace Romain Grosjean at Monza

Grosjean was given a one-race ban for causing the Belgian GP startline crash.

Team boss Eric Boullier had previously said on Sunday that there was a "very high" chance of d'Ambrosio getting the stand-in role.

"When we signed Jerome as our third driver we signed a man who is highly motivated, fresh, talented and who contested the full 2011 season," Boullier said.

"We hope that this will pay dividends when he drives the car this weekend in Monza.

"We know that Jerome 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."

D'Ambrosio raced for Virgin - now Marussia - last season before losing his seat to Charles Pic for 2012.

Part of the Lotus-affiliated Genii driver pool, he moved to the Enstone team as reserve.

"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," he said.

"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."

The 26-year-old Belgian already has experience of the Lotus E20 from the Mugello test in May.

AUTOSPORT says

By AUTOSPORT F1 editor Edd Straw

Jerome d'Ambrosio was not just the leading contender to fill in for Romain Grosjean, he was the only sensible one.

You only have to look at how long it takes even veteran drivers when they change teams to adapt to different steering wheel layouts, ways of working, operating systems to realise that this is a very specialised job.

D'Ambrosio has at least driven the Lotus E20 and sat in on engineering debriefs throughout the year, meaning he is as well-prepared as he could be in these days of next-to-no testing.

He's an intelligent driver as well, which means he will approach the weekend determined to do the most effective job possible without letting over-enthusiasm cloud his judgement.

That's not to say it will be easy. Any driver jumping in cold faces a near-vertical learning curve given such limited track time, so if d'Ambrosio can make a useful technical contribution and bring the car home, even if he's some way off Kimi Raikkonen in terms of pace, he will have done his job.

A points finish would be an overachievement for any driver with his preparation, even in such a good car.

shares
comments
McLaren confident its run of form will continue in Italian Grand Prix

Previous article

McLaren confident its run of form will continue in Italian Grand Prix

Next article

Lewis Hamilton says Spa woes 'firmly behind me'

Lewis Hamilton says Spa woes 'firmly behind me'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Matt Beer
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021