Lotus Confirm D’Ambrosio Will Partner Raikkonen at Monza

Lotus have today confirmed that Jerome D’Ambrosio will drive for them in Monza this weekend as a replacement for Romain Grosjean, who is serving a one-race ban for causing the first-corner accident in Belgium on Sunday.

The Italian Grand Prix will be D’Ambrosio’s first Formula 1 race since the Brazilian 2011, where he was racing for Marussia (then Virgin Racing).

“My desire for 2012 has always been to get back into the seat of a Formula 1 car so I am grabbing this opportunity with both hands,” he said. “Monza is a fantastic circuit and I can’t wait to take to the track on Friday.

“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.

“Monza is a superb circuit, but it is also quite a technical one so I am not underestimating the task ahead of me. 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.”

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier explained why they had chosen D’Ambrosio as Grosjean’s replacement. “When we signed Jérôme as our third driver we signed a man who is highly motivated, fresh, talented and who contested the full 2011 season,” he said. “We hope that this will pay dividends when he drives the car this weekend in Monza.

“We know that Jérôme 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. One thing is for sure, he’s half Italian and I think I know which driver the spectators will support apart from Fernando ! It’s a tough task for Jérôme, but we will be supporting him in every way to achieve a good result.”