|© Andrew Ferraro/Lotus
Lotus named reserve driver Jerome D'Ambrosio as a replacement for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, taking the seat of the suspended Romain Grosjean.
D'Ambrosio competed last season with Virgin - now called Marussia - and was announced as a reserve for Lotus earlier this year. The 26-year-old had a seat fitting in the race chassis on Sunday night in Belgium and is currently preparing for his first race this weekend.
“My desire for 2012 has always been to get back into the seat of a Formula 1 car so I am grabbing this opportunity with both hands," said D'Ambrosio who has attended all the Grands Prix this year as a third driver.
"Monza is a superb circuit, but it is also quite a technical one so I am not underestimating the task ahead of me," the Belgian pointed out adding that he was aiming for a “good haul of points”.
"I will hand the wheel back to Romain after Sunday’s race and I hope that this one showing in Italy will allow me to show my capabilities fully,” he added.
Grosjean was banned from one race for causing a spectacular collision at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, taking out three other drivers as a result. He is expected to return at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Team principal Eric Boullier meanwhile is hoping that D'Ambrosio's signing pays its dividends.
"We know that Jerome is well integrated into the team and that he did a good job when he drove the E20 at the Mugello test," Boullier said. "Now he has the challenge of a Grand Prix at the challenging circuit of Monza, in a car which is capable of finishing on the podium.
"One thing is for sure, he’s half Italian and I think I know which driver the spectators will support apart from Fernando (Alonso)! It’s a tough task for Jerome, but we will be supporting him in every way to achieve a good result," the Frenchman added.