• Italian Grand Prix

D'Ambrosio happy with first day back

ESPN Staff
September 7, 2012 « Button glad of dry running | Lotus is not fastest at Monza - Raikkonen »
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Romain Grosjean's replacement for the Italian Grand Prix, Jerome d'Ambrosio, is confident he is making progress after his first two practice sessions on Friday.

D'Ambrosio has been drafted in for a one-off race with Lotus at Monza to replace the suspended Grosjean, and on Friday got his first taste of the E20 since his test day at Mugello earlier this year. He admitted it had been a challenging day but is confident he made good progress.

"I think it's a fairly good day and definitely not an easy one because there are lots if thing to do," he said. "It's a low-downforce track and that can be a challenge, but I would say so far so good, definitely. We made steady progress between FP1 and FP2 so that's important for me to stay chilled and relaxed to do my best. We all know it's not an easy one, but there is no point to focus on that. So I just stay confident and stay focused with my engineer and try to make progress, which will be my goal tomorrow."

Asked to compare his Lotus with the Virgin he raced at Monza last year, d'Ambrosio said: "It's a low-downforce track, but I probably feel like I have as much downforce or more downforce than I had last year in Monaco! But once you push a car to the limit it always starts to slide and get nervous and I'm at that point with this car now."