The sensible, convenient option would be D’Ambrosio. Strictly because it all happened on a very short notice. I’m guessing this is gonna be quite a mental week at Enstone as Lotus also needs to put Grosjean’s car back together. They don’t need even more headaches.
D’Ambrosio is coming from within the team, has some experience in F1, is familiar with the car and he’s subject to confidentiality clauses regarding DDRS and so on.
Bottas seems like a long shot. I don’t think the problem lies with Williams. Actually they could benefit from lending Valtteri to a rival team for one race only. It should provide some experience for him and give FW an idea (in premiere) about his true race pace. All this without having to put Maldonado or Senna on the reserve bench and give up some of the sponsor money / without running the risk of rookie mistakes with their own cars. I’m not sure Lotus are willing to take that chance though.
Another fair option (and this is something I’d love to see) would be bringing Sutil in for one race. He’s been linked with Lotus before, he’s fast and he proved it with Force India last year, he’s an experienced driver and he’s not under contract with anyone at the moment. Plus I always thought Sutil would deserve a chance in a potential race winning car. This might be it.
Other realistic possiblities include Alguersuari – who, we all know, is desperate to find a seat and try to prove himself in something other than a Torro Rosso; and Heidfeld – even though after last year’s break-up with Boullier, I think neither of them are that eager to work with each other again.
Bringing one of the 2 ART GP drivers from GP2 would be a truly stupid move in my humble opinion. There’s no way they can pose less of a threat than Grosjean would. The Buemi bit also seems a bit unrealistic to me. There’s no way Red Bull / Torro Rosso would let him go, even for one race.
It’s either D’Ambrosio or Sutil if you ask me. With my money being on D’Ambrosio, obviously…