Despite being dumped from the Virgin Racing / Marussia line-up for the 2012 season in place of GPs graduate Charles Pic, Jérôme d’Ambrosio is still confident that he can remain on the grid next year.
The Belgian was initially dismissed by many as a mere pay-driver in the Sheffield team’s line-up at the start of the season, but he quickly improved and ran close to the pace of his more established team-mate, Timo Glock.
Nonetheless, this wasn’t enough to see him retained in what would appear to be a bidding war with Pic’s backers, and so he found himself cast out when the team announced it had signed Pic in the hours following the Brazilian Grand Prix.
“For me, nothing has really changed since Brazil,” d’Ambrosio told the French-language Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.
“One way or another, I will be in F1 in 2012. And a reserve role is not the priority at the moment.”
It is believed that d’Ambrosio – who is managed by Eric Boullier’s Gravity management group – is in talks with Williams, Caterham and HRT, with the Spanish squad appearing the most likely of options.
However, d’Ambrosio will find himself having to compete with the backing being brought by another GP2 veteran, in the form of Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde, who is well supported by native sponsors.
“To tell the truth, we have been able to raise so far a very reasonable amount for a very consistent driver – to develop a car, it’s not just about money,” his manager, Benjamin Mignot, has added.
“I get calls daily but [the driver market] is not going to move before the holidays.
“Even if it doesn’t work out, there are third driver positions where you can even drive on the Fridays at Grands Prix,” he continued.
[Image via Sutton Images]