Ousted Virgin Racing driver Jérôme d’Ambrosio’s connections to the Gravity sports management group have paid off, with the Belgian racer joining Lotus F1’s reserve driver line-up for the 2012 season.
Despite a generally impressive rookie season, D’Ambrosio was left without a drive when his former employer signed the well-backed Charles Pic to its line-up to partner Timo Glock for the upcoming season.
D’Ambrosio’s manager is Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier, who heads up the Gravity sports management group that also looks after the team’s newly-signed driver Romain Grosjean.
“It’s a great feeling to be joining Lotus F1 Team,” he said in a team media release.
“It’s an exciting next step in my career. I contested a complete season in F1 as a race driver for a smaller team where I learnt a lot about Formula 1.
“Now, I have the opportunity to work with one of the top teams with great potential for my future development. With my recent race experience, I know I can make a valuable contribution.
“Of course, I would love to be racing, but racing with a top team. Being associated with Lotus F1 Team should be more beneficial and this is the choice I have made. This opportunity is one I couldn’t afford to miss. My desire to get back in a race seat in the future is motivating me to do the best job possible in my new position.”
“To have a third driver who is highly motivated, fresh and talented and who contested the full 2011 season is highly beneficial for us,” added Boullier. “In Jérôme we have someone we know well who integrates beneficially with the squad.
“He impressed as reserve driver for us in 2010 and at the end of that year he made a strong showing in the young driver test. He also showed strongly in his rookie season as an F1 race driver. I am looking forward to working with Jerome again and think he is a perfect addition to our driving strength.”
[Images via Sutton Images]