d’Ambrosio inks Dragon deal
23 July 2014
Former F1 pilot Jerome d'Ambrosio will drive for Dragon Racing in the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, it has been confirmed.
The 28-year old Belgian is the latest high-profile name to ink a deal to contest the inaugural Formula E season, joining fellow F1 refugees Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok, Jarno Trulli, Franck Montagny, Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi, Stephane Sarrazin and Nick Heidfeld in a line-up that now has only three seats to be filled.
d'Ambrosio began go-karting at the age of eight, before quickly rising through the single-seater ranks on his way to an F1 debut with the Virgin team. In doing so, he became only the third Belgian in the history of the sport to complete a full season in the top flight, joining Jacky Ickx and Thierry Boutsen on an exclusive list.
Finding himself out of favour after a single season, d'Ambrosio moved to the Lotus team as reserve driver for 2012-2013, taking part in the 2012 Italian Grand Prix when Romain Grosjean was suspended. More recently, he signed with Bentley for its return to endurance racing, and is now looking forward to beginning the Formula E season with Dragon Racing.
“It is with great excitement that I will be at the wheel of the Dragon Racing entry in this historic first season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” d'Ambrosio admitted, “I have watched the Dragon Racing organisation closely over the last few months and feel that together we can achieve great results during this first season.”
Jay Penske, owner of the Los Angeles-based motorsports team, said that he was pleased to have landed another experienced pilot for the second of his two entries, having already tabbed British Indycar racewinner Mike Conway for the first.
“I am so pleased to have Jerome pilot one of our two Dragon Racing cars,” the American commented, “After watching his performances in F1, as well as the most recent Formula E test, I feel that the combination of Jerome and our other drivers should prove to be a formidable force.”
The signing of d'Ambrosio leaves just three driver places remaining for the 2014/2015 Formula E season with China Racing yet to reveal their line-up, along with the second seat at Andretti Autosport.
“Jerome is a talented driver and we're delighted to welcome yet another top name to the inaugural Formula E grid,” series CEO Alejandro Agag concluded, “Now we're excited to see who will fill the last three places.”