Jerome DAmbrosio Q&A: I will deliver for Lotus 05 Sep 2012
Last years Italian Grand Prix did not go well for Jerome DAmbrosio. He qualified 22nd for Virgin and then retired on lap two, having hit gearbox problems on his way to the grid. The Belgian is hoping for better things this Sunday. Standing in for the banned Romain Grosjean at Monza, DAmbrosio has a Lotus with race-winning potential at his disposal, giving him a genuine shot at podium glory for the first time in his F1 career
Q: How does it feel to be called on to drive in the Italian Grand Prix?
Jerome DAmbrosio: I understand the circumstances in which the drive has come about, but for me its a great opportunity and great challenge. I first want to thank the team for having faith in me and allowing me to step in the car for this race at Monza. I will do everything I can to do the best possible job. Ive worked hard outside the car this year and tried to prepare as best I can just in case something like this happened. I want to make the most of this weekend.
Q: How is your past form at Monza?
JDA: I had my last podium in GP2 there, so I have good memories of Monza. It is a very challenging track because of the low downforce. Its also going to be a special event in general, because it is the last race in Europe and Monza always has a very special atmosphere. Im really looking forward to it.
Q: What are the challenges of being thrown in at the deep end for a race like this?
JDA: Its a massive challenge, especially because Ive not driven much this year and Monza is a unique low-downforce track. But I dont want to focus on what will be hard or difficult. I just want to focus on what I can achieve. It will be challenging but I am already part of the team, I know everyone and I will have great support from them to do the best I can. I will be focussed 100 percent to make full use of free practice because that could be the key for me this weekend.
Q: What have you been doing in preparation for your race?
JDA: As soon as I got the call on Sunday night I drove back to Spa to speak with Ayao Komatsu who will be my race engineer. We checked my seat and talked through everything I need to know. I will be spending time in the simulator, fine tuning myself with all the procedures. And Ill be speaking a lot with the engineers so Im as prepared as I can be heading into first practice on Friday.
Q: Monzas quite a unique track, where will your focus be?
JDA: I cant wait to be in the car! Monza is high speed and low downforce. Parabolica is a very important and a great corner. Ascari is also not an easy corner. There are some good challenges. Its a different track from most these days and there will be plenty to do. Im looking forward to being there and looking over all the data, but most of all Im looking forward to being there and driving.
Q: Are you ready for extra attention youre going to receive this weekend?
JDA: My focus is on the race. I had a complete season in F1 last year. This is a good thing because I know how an F1 weekend runs and also Ive been with the team this year. I know its really busy at a Grand Prix, but in a good way because its a lot of work with engineers which I like.
Q: You did drive at last years Italian Grand Prix - is that good preparation?
JDA: It wasnt too good as preparation as my car broke down on the warm-up lap! Im definitely hoping for something better this year. My last real memory of Monza is from GP2 when I was on the podium. Im going to be 100 percent focused to get a good result this year and am really looking forward to being on the grid watching the start lights.
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