If you’ve been listening/reading F1B for a while, you’ll know that I was disappointed when Jerome D’Ambrosio lost his ride at the end of 2011. From my perspective, the young man was in a stubborn car and didn’t really have a chance to show his true pace or skill. That opportunity came in Italy while substituting for the banned Romain Grosjean at Lotus F1.
I may be in good company, however, as Lotus F1 team boss Eric Boullier told AUTOSPORT that the young Belgian deserves another chance:
“I think if any team had a doubt about him they will understand now that he is fast and can be very serious and professional and deserves his place in Formula 1,” Boullier told AUTOSPORT.
He added: “He has been good. Any team principal should look at his pace.
“In the second half of the race he was clearly matching the pace of all the cars in front of him.
“He didn’t put a foot wrong and he was professional and it was a very impressive weekend.”
I agree with Eric. I thought Jerome did a fine job considering what was asked of him. To sub for another driver is one thing but with no in-season testing and only one run in the Lotus F1 chassis previously, he was asked to return to the sport at MONZA! The circuit can catch out the best of drivers and the low downforce configuration is a real challenge as evidenced by how many current drivers were over-shooting chicanes.
Between free practice one and two, D’Ambrosio shaved .500 of a second off his time to teammate Kimi Raikkonen and that’s a lot in formula One terms.
No one is ever sure just how successful a driver can be as it is a combination of resources, the right car and the right time but I think another chance in F1 is certainly something he deserves…look what it’s done for the man he substituted in Italy.