Marussia Virgin Racing president Graeme Lowdon says the team is keen to retain Jerome D'Ambrosio for the 2012 F1 season after reports emerged linking him with a move elsewhere.
Renault team boss Eric Boullier, also involved with the Gravity Sport Management group which looks after D'Ambrosio had been quoted in the Belgian press as saying that he planned to talk to another team at the upcoming German Grand Prix
after a drive for the GP2 graduate for 2012.
However, Virgin remain keen to retain the Belgian driver beyond this season after he made the move into a race seat this year at the expense of Lucas di Grassi
– with D'Ambrosio having taken a best finish of 14th so far in his debut campaign.
“I spoke to Jerome's manager at Silverstone and that is simply not the case,” Lowdon told The Star
. “We are happy with the guys we have got and it would be nice to continue with the same line up next year.
“We are extremely happy with the drivers we have got and we have no plans to change it. It is not unusual to chop and change your drive line up quite a bit but we have got two guys who are really good.”
Lowdon added that the team was hopeful that Timo Glock
would also remain for another season, with the German having spoken of his excitement at the prospect of the team working closely with McLaren
next year after the recent announcement of a technical partnership between the two parties.
“Timo is doing a great job; he's very experienced and is a real asset to the team,” Lowdon continued. “We have a great team spirit here and he is valuable part of that.
“I know Timo very well and we talk a lot about the future. He knows a lot about our plans and we know what his personal goals are too. We have an extremely open relationship so if anyone was talking with him then we would be the first to know.”
Meanwhile, Virgin has been linked with a new base at Silverstone in the post-Nick Wirth era. Although the team presently operates out of Manor's Dinnington headquarters in Yorkshire and has recently acquired Wirth's state-of-the-art technical premises in Banbury, the longer-term vision is to bring all operations under just one roof.
“There is no big change in the short-term,” Lowdon confirmed. “We have got a couple of guys looking at where the best location would be in the long run. On the basis that this will be a new facility, this is not something you necessarily want to rush into. They have got to find the right place, because it will be a big investment. I don't expect there to be a decision on that too quickly.”