Jérôme D’Ambrosio: Focus is the key
Stand-in Lotus driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio says he needs to focus on working with his engineers in the run-up to the Italian Grand Prix and only then can he hope for a successful racing return.
The Belgian driver will partner Kimi Raikkonen this weekend following Romain Grosjean’s one-race suspension for causing a multi-car accident at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. D’Ambrosio, though, admitted he was not setting himself ambitious targets for Sunday’s race.
“I don’t have much information to set myself a position target,” he said the former of his first F1 race since the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix of 2011. “I really want to stay focused on what I’ve got to do, with the job, with the engineers, in the car. Stay focused on that. Once that is done correctly we can hope for something good on Sunday – but only if I stay focused on my job, so this is what I will try to do.”
D’Ambrosio made his grand prix debut with Virgin Marussia Racing last year and raced the full season for the British-Russian team but lost out on a 2012 seat to Charles Pic. He subsequently made the switch to a test driver role at Lotus and today said that the opportunity to race this season had come as a surprise.
“Obviously it’s been short notice. On Monday really,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a hectic week for me, getting stuff done as much as I could before here to get really prepared as best as I can. As I say, I haven’t had time to think about anything really: just really getting things done and that’s it.”
He is, however, fully prepared for 53 laps of the Autodromo di Monza.
“As a third driver that’s part of the job: you have to keep fit and everything,” he said. “It’s not something easy, not a lot of mileage on, but I did everything in the drivers’ meetings, with the engineers and everything, trying to keep up to date as much as I could with every tool I had in my hand, to be as prepared as I can if something like this happened.”
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