Virgin Racing team principal John Booth said that JÃ©rÃ´me D'Ambrosio‘s drive to eighteenth place in Singapore today was one of the best races of the Belgian’s F1 career.
D'Ambrosio certainly fared much better than team-mate Timo Glock, who suffered damage on the opening lap when HRT driver Daniel Ricciardo drove into him and was forced to retire on Lap 18 after colliding with a wall.
“JÃ©rÃ´me drove possibly his best race of the year today,” said Booth. “We were really pleased to see him battling with cars that are usually several seconds in front of us on pace. Enabling him to do this was a well thought-out strategy by the engineers which was executed faultlessly by the pit crew, with last minute calls and Safety Cars thrown in the mix. I'm sure he'll take a big lift from this race and look forward to the final races of the season.
“Unfortunately, Timo's race was over on the first lap with the impact from Ricciardo. It's a great shame we didn't get the chance to see him in action at his favourite track. It's certainly been a very hot and humid weekend for all of the guys in the garage, however they have done a fantastic job to keep to our normal high standards of operation.”
D’Ambrosio said that it was one of the toughest races he had ever driven, but was pretty pleased with how the Singapore Grand Prix unfolded for him.
“I'm quite happy with my race today,” said the Belgian. “I had a good start and pushed hard on the first two laps and then tried to save the tyres as we were following a two-stop strategy – that was pretty good.
“The last stint was long and not easy to manage. I could push, but I had to have in mind that I had to look after the tyres until the end of the race. It has been quite a good race. I'm satisfied and we need to continue like this. It's certainly the toughest race I have done, but I managed to go to the end without many problems, so it was good.”
Glock was disappointed that the team’s hard work could not translate into another race finish for the team, and is now turning his attentions to the next race in Japan.
“It's a disappointing end to the weekend for the team and for me,” said the German. “I had quite a good start but I lost my positioning with JÃ©rÃ´me because I was on the outside. Then, unfortunately, in the second sector Ricciardo drove into the rear right of the car and from that moment my steering wheel was not straight, it was quite a lot to the right, and in all the left-hand corners the car was really difficult to drive. I had a lot of degradation on the rear right tyre and then suddenly I lost the rear under braking and when I hit the wall I think it broke the rear suspension and that was it.
“It's a real shame for the team that has been working hard all over the weekend, but this is racing and now we just have to look forward to the next race in Japan.”