Jerome d’Ambrosio to stand in for Grosjean at Monza

2012 Italian Grand Prix

Jerome D'Ambrosio, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Jerome D’Ambrosio will take Romain Grosjean’s place at Lotus in the Italian Grand Prix.

Grosjean was excluded from the race after triggering a crash which eliminated himself and three other drivers at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.

D’Ambrosio is the team’s third driver and raced for Virgin last year.

“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,” said D’Ambrosio. “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.”

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “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. 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.

“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 Jerome, but we will be supporting him in every way to achieve a good result.”

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102 comments on Jerome d’Ambrosio to stand in for Grosjean at Monza

  1. Sherlock said on 4th September 2012, 12:06

    So this is offically the first change in drivers this season? It’s quite imperssive that some big money didn’t buy a drivers seat in some of the “new” teams – like Riccardo last year.

    • William Brierty said on 4th September 2012, 13:15

      Good point, I’m very surprised that Karthikeyan has lasted this long – I mean, he didn’t last year. Actually the class of 2012 seems notably better than 2011, because there are no drivers really screaming out to be replaced, excluding Karthikeyan obviously.

      • Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 4th September 2012, 15:38

        Isn’t Karthikeyan pretty much single-handedly funding HRT through his sponsorship / technical deals? (hence their lack of sponsors compared to Marussia / Caterham) I don’t see him being dropped any time soon unless someone comes up with a real wad of cash.

        • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 4th September 2012, 17:46

          He must be. Their only sponsor is Tata who he obviously brought in and with his performances this year, I can only assume that he’s in the team for one reason.

          It’s a bit of a pointless existence though isn’t it? If you can’t put some money in yourself and have to rely on a terrible driver to buy a seat, what chance do you have of moving forward?

      • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 4th September 2012, 23:48


  2. Sergey said on 4th September 2012, 12:44

    Can Lotus choose not to enter a 2nd car?

    I know it will be stupid not to and lose any constructors points he might pick up, but was just wondering whether it is mandatory to enter two cars per team or is there a leeway to skip one in case of driver bans such as this

    • Dominoe1990 said on 4th September 2012, 15:02

      Marussia raced with only one car in Valencia when Glock was ill so I assume they can do what they want.

      They can choose to enter no cars if they want (US Grand Prix 2005)

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th September 2012, 0:05

        To used a third driver, this had has to take part in at least one practice… since Timo only got sick on sunday nad they have not run another driver neither saturday or friday they can only run with Pic…

  3. William Brierty said on 4th September 2012, 13:05

    Looking at the comments above, it was just me that saw a rather handy driver in d’Ambrosio. Obviously, he’s not on the level of Raikkonen, or Grosjean for that matter, but he’s a consistant, measured and intelligent racing driver who is exceptional at looking after his tyres, all essential qualities in 2012. OK, he is notably lacking in raw speed, so he’s not going to get pole position, but I expect him to finish deeply in points. I’m rather excited really, I thought Virgin dumped him prematurely, and now we get a chance to see what he can do in a “proper” car, a car that has an excellent chance of winning the GP for that matter.

  4. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 4th September 2012, 15:01

    Called it first on the forum.

  5. Kimi4WDC said on 4th September 2012, 15:05

    It’s going to be amazing experience, I hope he enjoys is. Many drivers would love to have a Grand Prix in 2012 Lotus :)

    Best of luck!

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 4th September 2012, 17:42

      Amazing for him! He’s spent a year struggling at the back and now he gets to prove what he can do in a car that can genuinely win a race.

      I really hope that he’s careful at the start and doesn’t carry on as Grosjean left off!

  6. Enigma (@enigma) said on 4th September 2012, 15:59

    Good choice. He’s tested the car, he knows the team well and how they work. It’ll be difficult for him, but I’m sure he’s capable of scoring a few points.

  7. Just a small light hearted thought, if Jerome were to become Pastor Maldonado’s teammate, then Williams would have to become F1’s official chefs.

  8. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 4th September 2012, 16:03

    Can somebody explain me the custard joke?

  9. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 4th September 2012, 16:04

    I would’ve hoped for Alguesuari or Barrichello.

  10. Veteran said on 4th September 2012, 16:07

    The only sensible choice.

    Now let us hope he outperforms kimi so Grosjean can stay at home for the rest of the season

  11. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 4th September 2012, 17:40

    Good luck to him. Funny how he was interviewed before the race and was clearly disappointed to not have driven in practice yet but gave a really good “team” answer and now he’s racing!

    Good luck to him – it’ll be great to see how he gets on in a decent car as I was impressed with him in the Virgin last year.

  12. Hairs (@hairs) said on 4th September 2012, 18:02

    You know what’s happening today?

    Timo Glock is staring at the wall desperately trying to turn back time and get sacked from Marussia last year.

  13. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 4th September 2012, 20:07

    It would be incredibly ironic if D’Ambrosio won at Monza…

    But in all seriousness, I hope he gets the chance to impress. I think he’s a decent driver who was suffocated by a bad car last year, so hopefully he’ll impress someone enough for a drive next year.

  14. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 4th September 2012, 20:41

    Ah salud (my Italian is negligible) to you, d’Ambrosio.

    Go and shine.

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