The Lotus F1 team has confirmed that Jerome D'Ambrosio will take up the role of test and reserve driver for the 2012 season.
The Belgian driver, who competed for Virgin last season in his debut campaign, will attend every race on the calendar this season and work alongside race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
The news that D'Ambrosio will take up the position comes as little surprise given his career is managed by Lotus F1 team boss Eric Boullier but he admitted the chance to join the team was too good to miss – even if he would have preferred to stay in a race seat for a second season.
“It's a great feeling to be joining Lotus F1 Team,” he said. “It's an exciting next step in my career. I contested a complete season in F1 as a race driver for a smaller team where I learnt a lot about Formula 1. Now, I have the opportunity to work with one of the top teams with great potential for my future development. With my recent race experience, I know I can make a valuable contribution.
“Of course, I would love to be racing, but racing with a top team. Being associated with Lotus F1 Team should be more beneficial and this is the choice I have made. This opportunity is one I couldn't afford to miss. My desire to get back in a race seat in the future is motivating me to do the best job possible in my new position.”
Boullier added that D'Ambrosio – who was a Renault F1 test driver back in 2010 – would be a strong addition to the team.
“To have a third driver who is highly motivated, fresh and talented and who contested the full 2011 season is highly beneficial for us,” he said. “In Jerome we have someone we know well who integrates beneficially with the squad. He impressed as reserve driver for us in 2010 and at the end of that year he made a strong showing in the young driver test. He also showed strongly in his rookie season as an F1 race driver. I am looking forward to working with Jerome again and think he is a perfect addition to our driving strength.”