Despite various rumours claiming either that his seat was in danger of that he was looking elsewhere for 2011, Jerome d'Ambrosio insists that he would be happy to remain with the Marussia Virgin squad for a second season.
The Belgian, who is approaching his first home grand prix this weekend, has been at the centre of several 'sponsorship shortfall' stories during the year, but remains alongside Timo Glock in the Dinnington team's line-up, and hopes that that will be the case in 2012 as well.
Glock was 'rewarded' with a lengthy contract extension at his home grand prix last month, but Virgin bosses said that they did not intend to burden d'Ambrosio, who continues to learn the nuances of F1 and its unfamiliar circuits, with talk of a new deal until the end of the 2011 campaign. While many have taken that as a sign that the GP2 Series graduate may not be retained, d'Ambrosio insists that preliminary discussions are already underway.
"With the team, I am really happy," he confirmed as the Spa weekend opened, "I think they are happy about me as well so definitely, at the moment, we are speaking and, hopefully, we will be able to work together again next year."
d'Ambrosio, who has reeled off a valuable nine-race finishing streak heading into his home event - his only retirement having come in Malaysia - says that the summer break allowed him to both recharge his batteries and digest what he had learned over the last few months, and he was now looking forward to returning to action.
"First of all, the break was something good," he confirmed, "I think that, as a rookie, you take a lot of information in within a very short period of time, and it is nice to have a break not thinking about F1. Then it is kind of a natural processing of all the information you have taken in during a couple of months. That is something good before the last eight races, so I am looking forward to them. I really wish to make another step and really put into application what I have learnt over the last eleven."
With all the speculation over his future in the Virgin team, the Belgian admitted that he was especially delighted to be making his first F1 appearance at Spa, even if he does not expect home advantage to come into play.
"It is something special to be here, definitely," he confirmed, "For 17 years, there were no Belgian drivers in F1 and at Spa, so coming back here is special. It has been busy days for me with the first press conference for the grand prix back on the tenth of August. There is a lot of enthusiasm about me being here [but], on the other side, I just have to keep on doing my job, stay focused. I will just try to do the best. There is not much more we can do. I will just focus on getting the maximum out of the car. Hopefully, the weather can play for us a little bit and then we will see. A bit of drizzle in the race would not be a bad thing for us!"