Jerome d’Ambrosio to drive for Virgin in 2011

2011 F1 season

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin, Singapore, 2010

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin, Singapore, 2010

Virgin have signed Jerome d’Ambrosio to drive alongside Timo Glock in 2011.

The Belgian driver, who appeared for Virgin in four practice sessions at the end of this year, will replace Lucas di Grassi.

D’Ambrosio finished 12th in this year’s GP2 championship behind Virgin’s reserve driver Luiz Razia. He said:

I?m thrilled to have achieved my goal of a Formula One race seat with Marussia Virgin Racing.

When I came to the team in September this year it was everything I could hope for. I had a tough test to complete because there was a lot of competition for this seat, but at the same time I got on well with the team and felt that I had found my home.

I feel very comfortable with them – they are extremely professional and ambitious people and it is exciting to think that I can be a part of shaping the team?s future.

I would like to thank everyone at Marussia Virgin Racing for the faith they have shown in me and everyone at Gravity Sport Management for the support they have given to my career so far.
Jerome d’Ambrosio

Virgin team principal John Booth added:

Jerome had been on our radar for quite some time as a driver we should seriously consider for a 2011 race seat. We had followed his progress in GP2 closely and it was clear he was ??one to watch?, but when we put him in the car for the four race weekends and the Abu Dhabi test he surpassed even our own expectations.

He slotted into the team perfectly and everyone took a shine to him, including our partners and the media. Apart from his obvious skill at the wheel of a Formula One car, he is an immensely personable young guy who is a pleasure to have around. He has secured this seat absolutely on merit and I think coupled with Timo we have the perfect blend of youth, experience, speed and potential and we can?t wait to see what they can achieve together next season.

Timo has done an excellent job for us in our debut season, in often challenging circumstances. There is no doubt that he has helped us to establish a strong foundation from which to develop the team and the package. We look forward to being in a much stronger position to deliver the car he deserves in 2011.

Finally, I must thank Lucas di Grassi for the important role that he also played in establishing the team. He contributed a great deal to our development and we wish him every success in his future career, which we have no doubt will be an exciting one.
John Booth

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

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40 comments on Jerome d’Ambrosio to drive for Virgin in 2011

  1. Congratulations to Jerome. I think he has some talent and it’s always nice when a new guy gets a chance. I can’t help but feel for Lucas though. I really think that rookies need two seasons in F1 and then they can be judged.

    Rookies aren’t really fairing well; Lucas is out, Hulk may not be on the grid next year despite a pole position and Chandhok was out ages ago. Perez and Jerome may be in now and there are some good driver development programmes but they never really seem to get a proper crack at F1 now with the testing ban.

  2. “Yo, Jérome d’Ambrosio, I’m real happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but Bertrand Baguette is a much better Belgian driver.”

  3. Chris Pattison said on 21st December 2010, 22:10

    It’s a shame for Lucas but every year there seems to be a huge amount of decent junior drivers all wanting contracts so I can’t blame teams for wanting to risk signing a new rookie. They’re all hoping they can unearth the next Vettel I guess. With so much competition for places it’s not enough to just be good, you’ve got to have something special. The likes of Hamilton and Vettel have I suspect raised expectations about what a rookie should achieve though.

    Good look to d’Ambrosio, there’s no doubt he’s gonna need plenty regardless of what talent he brings.

  4. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 21st December 2010, 22:25

    It’s a shame for Renault that they didn’t hire him instead of Petrov. Eric Boullier once said, that Jerome has the talent but he doesn’t have the sponsors to be in RF1 race seat in 2011, as well as mentioning that teaming him up with Kubica would not be positive for Jerome.

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