Monza call-up “a massive challenge” – D’Ambrosio

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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Jerome D’Ambrosio admits he faces a considerable challenge in taking over Romain Grosjean’s car in the Italian Grand Prix at short notice.

“It’s a massive challenge, especially because I’ve not driven much this year and Monza is a unique low downforce track,” said D’Ambrosio in a Q&A released by the team.

“But I don’t want to focus on what will be hard or difficult. I just want to focus on what I can achieve. It will be challenging but I am already part of the team, I know everyone and I will have great support from them to do the best I can.

“I will be focussed 100% to make full use of free practice because that could be the key for me this weekend.”

D’Ambrosio said he was informed of the team’s decision soon after the stewards handed down Grosjean’s one-race ban: “As soon as I got the call on Sunday night I drove back to Spa to speak with Ayao Komatsu who will be my race engineer. We checked my seat and talked through everything I need to know.

“I will be spending time in the simulator, fine tuning myself with all the procedures. And I’ll be speaking a lot with the engineers so I’m as prepared as I can be heading into first practice on Friday.”

The former Virgin driver raced at Monza last year but was sidelined by an early failure: “It wasn’t too good as preparation as my car broke down on the warm-up lap!

“I’m definitely hoping for something better this year. My last real memory of Monza is from GP2 when I was on the podium. I’m going to be 100% focused to get a good result this year and am really looking forward to being on the grid watching the start lights.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Monza call-up “a massive challenge” – D’Ambrosio”

  1. This is as much an audition for him to prove to the paddock he’s worthy of a shot on the grid in 2013 as it is about him scoring points for the team. Good luck to him, I say.

    1. I dare say Pic is doing a better job than he did, but I still rate him. Would be great to see him on the podium, though that’s probably asking too much. A solid, uneventful drive to 4th or 5th would do his prospects a lot of good.

      1. “Uneventful” would be the important word there. He would thus overcome Romain.

  2. What’s the weather forecast like for practice?

    1. Sunny sunny sunny!

  3. Do you think Lotus are packing a few extra spares (of everything) for this weekend? Could be a busy FP1, 2 and 3 for the engineers ;-)

    1. Oh they were already doing that for Grojean so its business as usual!

    2. based on his stint with marussia last year, i’d say jerome, although with only one full season of f1 under his belt, is a relatively safe pair of hands.

      i fear if he doesn’t do well, he’ll be criticised from all corners. and if he does well – it’ll be said the car flatters him.

      i hope my fears are unfounded.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        4th September 2012, 23:21

        Frankly after half a season out if he gets anywhere near the speed machine and podium addict that is kimi i think it’s job done he’s a heck of alot cheaper and more cheerful. though i feel i should say i have been impressed with kimis willingness to speak this year if you’re reading this it’s been appreciated!

  4. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t end up out of the race in the inevitable turn 1 crash! To be honest if he brings the car home in the points he’s done a good job in my books.

  5. Well, I often wonder what would happen if you put a slow team driver in a fast car. I guess now we find out!

    1. The result wouldn’t be that suprising. If he brings it home higher than 11th I will be very impressed. The car may be good by he will be race rusty to say the least! Any point he scores will be a bonus to the team (based on the hand they’ve been dealt that is). I don’t think they will be putting too much pressure on him, nor should he feel any. He knows it’s a one off things as much as Romain does. It’s not like when Truly was swapped with Chandock in Nurburgring last year. There is no reasonfor Gosjean to fear a permenant switch, even if Jerome wins! I think Jerome should just go out and have some fun and try to not think of the possible career effect a good performace will have. The calmer you are the better you’ll perform. Treating it as a ‘fun treat’ weekend may prove more beneficial than if he stresses over wanting to perform.

      What I would most like to see, is one of the very top drivers in the Williams for a weekend or 2; to see what pace really lies within the car.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        4th September 2012, 23:24

        “What I would most like to see, is one of the very top drivers in the Williams for a weekend or 2; to see what pace really lies within the car.”

        that would be great but even if maldonado got a ban which he probably will if he carrys on like he is there are no top drivers available…well unless frank gets on the phone to nigel again.

        1. Haha, not sure he could fit into a car any more. But that would be something truly amazing to see! lol.

  6. why is he wearing Kimi’s helmet? it’s going to be difficult telling them apart.
    Fisi played much the same trick when he stood in for Massa 2009, you couldn’t tell his helmet from Kimi’s unless you held a magnifier at close range and picked out an italian flag on the side..

    Hey, Ambrosio, how about making up your own design??

    1. A little research would prevent such silly statements.
      He is not wearing Kimi’s helmet. That is his own design. If you search for images of his and Kimi’s respective designs, you can see clearly that they are quite different. Additionally, Kimi has a red T-bar while the second car has a yellow one. Many times that feature is more obvious than the helmet color anyway.

      1. Can you believe this people, good grief. Dude has no idea what he’s on about. What would wear kimi’s helmet. Never mind research, how about some common sense?

        1. Mr Carlitos way, may I recommend the Acme English Spelling College? It specialises in very bright students who are also courteous posters

      2. thank you, but in a race there is a similaity in appearance which requires your minute knowledge of designs which are of the same colour. For me this is tedious, I like to know in an instant who the driver is

  7. I’m guessing he won’t be commentating on GP2 then.

  8. I’m sure he will do fine. He was safe pair of hands last year which is all that Lotus can really ask for. It’s good to see that he got the call so quickly, I’m glad they didn’t mess around looking for someone else.

    1. It wouldn’t have a lot of sense and it would have rise the stress level of D’ambrosio if they did … Probably best to announce it rapidly.
      And I’m pretty sure he will do well, as you said he has been reliable and already felt that Lotus at Mugello. But surely he will catch a lot of attention if he is amongst the top guys for a while on track and that would be awesome for him. We can expect sky to support him in a way, they know him quite well, could be interesting to hear them (even if I prefer BBC coverage when available)

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