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Virgin Racing confirm Jérôme D'Ambrosio for 2011 - The Belgian racer gets a seat for the new season

Published by Christine

Jérôme in the hot seat.
Jérôme in the hot seat.Credit: Virgin Racing

Virgin Racing have announced their second seat signing of Jérôme D'Ambrosio, promoting the Belgian from third driver duties last season. D'Ambrosio participated in the young driver testing in Abu Dhabi in November, and whilst he also made an appearance for Renault, it always seemed likely that he would be welcome at Virgin Racing.

The team confirmed Timo Glock a few weeks ago, without actually issuing a press release to go with the news, but now their 2011 line-up is complete. This leaves Lucas di Grassi with no race drive for next season as yet, which, although I am partial to him myself, isn't really a surprise. That formation lap crash in Japan lingers long in the memory.

Jérôme is up for the challenge and says that he is feeling comfortable within the team already:

When I came to the team in September this year it was everything I could hope for. I had a tough test to complete because there was a lot of competition for this seat, but at the same time I got on well with the team and felt that I had found my home.

- Jérôme D'Ambrosio

Meanwhile, team principal John Booth has high hopes for his 2011 pairing:

He has secured this seat absolutely on merit and I think coupled with Timo we have the perfect blend of youth, experience, speed and potential and we can't wait to see what they can achieve together next season.

- John Booth

D'Ambrosio has spent most of his time over the past few years participating in GP2 related series, and whilst not achieving star results in the main league, he finished second in the 08/09 GP2 Asia series. Jérôme comes through the ranks thanks to the Gravity Sport Management initiative, which is headed up by Renault boss Éric Boullier.

The other important thing to note about the signing, is that Virgin Racing are already sick of the jokes.

I know you all love the custard and rice pudding jokes, but would I be a party pooper to point out that's Ambrosia not Ambrosio?

VirginRacing VirginRacing

Yes, yes you would.