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D'Ambrosio named Lotus third driver

ESPNF1 Staff
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Jerome d'Ambrosio raced for Virgin in 2011 © Sutton Images
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Jerome d'Ambrosio has been named as the Lotus third driver for the 2012 season.

D'Ambrosio was replaced by Charles Pic at Virgin (now Marussia) at the end of the 2011 season despite a solid debut year for the team. He's managed by Eric Boullier's Gravity management company, and has now been named alongside race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at Lotus. D'Ambrosio said that he was hoping to develop in the role in order to regain a race seat in the future.

"It's a great feeling to be joining Lotus F1 Team," d'Ambrosio said. "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."

Lotus team principal Boullier believes that having a third driver who was racing last season would prove to be a positive for the team.

"To have a third driver who is highly motivated, fresh and talented and who contested the full 2011 season is highly beneficial for us," Boullier said. "In Jerome 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."