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d'Ambrosio confirmed as Grosjean replacement

Despite several candidates being listed immediately after the Belgian Grand Prix, Lotus F1 has not strayed too far from home in naming its stand-in for the suspended Romain Grosjean.

Despite Jaime Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello declaring their availability for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Lotus F1 has confirmed reserve driver Jerome d'Ambrosio as stand-in for the suspended Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean received a one-race ban after being adjudged to have caused the opening corner pile-up at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, leaving Lotus with the problem of finding a temporary team-mate for Kimi Raikkonen at Monza. Although Pirelli test driver Alguersuari - who apparently turned down an invitation from Enstone in order to remain with Toro Rosso in 2012 - and IndyCar convert Barrichello both went public with their interest in the drive, d'Ambrosio - the initial favourite to fill the seat - was finally confirmed by the team on Tuesday afternoon.

Such was the strength of the Belgian's candidature, he actually had a seat fitting in the race chassis on the Sunday night following the Belgian Grand Prix, and is now working closely with the team to ensure a seamless transition from third driver to race driver for Monza.

"When we signed Jerome as our third driver, we signed a man who is highly motivated, fresh, talented and who contested the full 2011 season," team principal Eric Boullier commented, "We hope that this will pay dividends when he drives the car this weekend in Monza.

"We know that Jerome is well integrated into the team and that he did a good job when he drove the E20 at the Mugello test. Now he has the challenge of a grand prix at the challenging circuit of Monza, in a car which is capable of finishing on the podium.

"It's a tough task for Jerome, but we will be supporting him in every way to achieve a good result. One thing is for sure, he's half Italian and I think I know which driver the spectators will support - apart from Fernando [Alonso]!"

Ironically, d'Ambrosio, a former GP2 Series race winner who contested the 2011 F1 season with the Marussia Virgin Racing team, had been due to run the E20 in Friday practice at his home grand prix, only to see the opportunity taken away as the team hoped to further evaluate its 'double DRS' system ahead of a proposed race debut.

"My desire for 2012 has always been to get back into the seat of an F1 car, so I am grabbing this opportunity with both hands," he smiled, "Monza is a fantastic circuit and I can't wait to take to the track on Friday.

"Monza is a superb circuit, but it is also quite a technical one, so I am not underestimating the task ahead of me. As third driver, I have worked with the team at every grand prix, attending all the briefings and meetings that the race drivers do, so I am well prepared in this respect. I want to reward the faith that the team has in me with a good haul of points from the race. I will hand the wheel back to Romain after Sunday's race and I hope that this one showing in Italy will allow me to show my capabilities fully."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
02.09.2012- Race, Start of the race, Crash, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
31.08.2012- Free Practice 1, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
30.08.2012- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
22.06.2012- Free Practice 1, Jerome D`Ambrosio (BEL), Test driver, Lotus F1 Team E20
Jerome d`Ambrosio (BEL), third driver,  Lotus F1 Team  01.05.2012. Formula 1 World Championship, Testing, Mugello, Italy
30.10.2014 - Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
30.10.2014 - Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9, Nicola Todt (FRA), Manager of Felipe Massa and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
30.10.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

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sodesu - Unregistered

September 04, 2012 5:23 PM

The most sensible choice really. Will be interesting to see how he does. If he can score points he'll have done respectably considering the circumstances I reckon. If he can reach Q3 he'll have done well.

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