Jerome d’Ambrosio ready for ‘beneficial’ Lotus switch
Hethel-backed Lotus have confirmed Jerome d'Ambrosio will be their reserve driver for the new season.
The 25-year-old Belgian drove alongside Timo Glock at Virgin in 2011 but has been replaced in the winter by GP2 racer Charles Pic – paving the way for a move to Enstone.
D'Ambrosio will be back-up to Kimi R�ikk�nen and Romain Grosjean, with last season's reserve – and eventually lead – driver Bruno Senna already confirmed at Williams for 2012.
'It is a great feeling to be joining Lotus,' said d'Ambrosio. 'It's an exciting next step in my career. I contested a complete season in F1 as a race driver for a smaller team last year, where I learned a lot about Formula One. 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. Being associated with Lotus should be more beneficial and this is the choice I have made.
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'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.'
Team principal Eric Boullier added: 'To have a third driver who is highly motivated, talented and who contested the full 2011 season is highly beneficial for us.
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'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. I think he is a perfect addition to our driving strength.'
The Enstone team will run a chassis under the Norfolk marque for the first time after switching from its Renault heritage in the winter.
Meanwhile, d'Ambrosio's former team Virgin – now called Marussia – have admitted the MR01 won't make the season's first test at Jerez, which starts on February 7.