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D'Ambrosio linked to Virgin seat in 2011

ESPNF1 Staff
September 11, 2010 « Senna expects to see out season with HRT | »
Jerome d'Ambrosio is a Renault reserve driver racing in GP2 © Sutton Images
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DAMS GP2 driver Jerome d'Ambrosio has reportedly been offered a race seat with Virgin next year if he can find the necessary budget.

It is believed Timo Glock has now definitely committed to Virgin for 2011, but the place currently occupied by Lucas di Grassi is still open. Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure Les Sports said d'Ambrosio's management Gravity Sports is open to the offer which is apparently worth €5 million.

D'Ambrosio is currently a Renault reserve driver, but it is believed he might also be in line to replace a Virgin race driver in 2010 if either Glock or di Grassi is unable to race. D'Ambrosio might also appear in a Virgin during a Friday free practice session at one of the remaining grands prix this season.

Renault and Gravity boss Eric Boullier confirmed Virgin's offer for d'Ambrosio.

"John Booth, the boss of Virgin, is someone with a realistic vision," he said. "Jerome is showing more than ever that he is ready for F1. At Spa he was excellent. With commercial agreements in the future we can work with Virgin, we take their offer seriously. I can not reveal the budget but it is not at all insurmountable."

D'Ambrosio, who is currently 16th in the GP2 drivers' standings for the Renault-backed DAMS team, added: "This is the opportunity of a lifetime."

The reports have sparked rumours that, like Lotus, Virgin might also switch to Renault engine power for 2011.