Speculation might be linking him to the five-strong shortlist for the second Renault cockpit in F1 2010 alongside Robert Kubica, but GP2 Series campaigner Jérôme d'Ambrosio insists he is at least a year away yet from making the graduation to the highest level.
New Renault F1 team principal Eric Boullier has revealed that the Enstone-based outfit has now reduced its options from ten drivers down to five [see separate story – click here
], and as a member of the Gravity Sport Management programme which until recently the Frenchman similarly ran, d'Ambrosio's name has naturally been mentioned.
What's more, in 2009 the Belgian competed in GP2 – finishing as runner-up to team-mate and 2010 Sauber new boy Kamui Kobayashi in the championship's 2008/09 Asia Series – for DAMS, where Boullier acted as team manager before leaving to move to Renault, and he has in the past been part of the French manufacturer's young driver development programme, as well as having raced in both Formula Renault and the World Series by Renault.
However, the 24-year-old has still to win his first race in the F1 feeder category, and he suggests that he is not ready quite yet to become the first of his countrymen to join the grand prix grid since Bertrand Gachot back in 1995.
“F1 is not on the agenda,” d'Ambrosio insisted, speaking to Belgian sports newspaper La Derniere Heure
. “Everything that has been happening in recent weeks has been positive for me, but it is no guarantee of anything.
“My hope is to race in grands prix one day, but before that, I have to focus on my job in GP2, which is to win races. If at the end of the year I have not had the opportunity to sit in an F1 car, it becomes difficult – but even if I am not getting distracted, my goal is no longer [just] a dream.”