Jerome d’Ambrosio has revealed he could drive one of the Lotus cars during Friday morning practice sessions at some point in 2012. The former Virgin driver, who is managed by Lotus boss Eric Boullier’s Gravity company, was appointed as the team’s third and reserve driver for this year. But, until now, it was not known if the role would involve Friday morning practice duties.
Asked by the La Libre newspaper when he will be seen on the grid once again, Belgian d’Ambrosio answered: “I hope in 2013.”
He will get his 2013 campaign up and running on Tuesday, when he gets the chance to drive Lotus’ current E20 for the first time at the Mugello test. The 26-year-old said on Monday: “I will try to show what I can do every time I have the opportunity, not only tomorrow but also during the Friday morning tests that I can participate in.”
D’Ambrosio admitted he would rather be racing this year, but insists that his role at Lotus is a good stepping stone.
“I’m not complaining,” he said. “I remain convinced that my decision to become a reserve driver with a big team was the best thing for me.”
And he insisted he is not jealous of the similarly-aged Romain Grosjean, who took the E20 to the podium in Bahrain recently.
“Honestly not,” said d’Ambrosio. “I would be a fool to think that if Romain had crashed twice more I would replace him in Barcelona. Instead, what Grosjean has done confirms that young guys can be trusted. I am glad to see him succeed.
“I don’t come to grands prix hoping one of my teammates is hurt. I’m here to learn, not to laugh.”
He thinks Lotus could win a race in 2012.
“It’s possible, yes,” said d’Ambrosio. “The E20 works well when it’s hot, degrading the tyres not too much. In Bahrain, we had the best car in the race. We cannot afford to miss opportunities.”