Manor’s youth drive ‘important for F1’, says d’Ambrosio

Ex-Grand Prix racer believes the sport needs the smaller teams to give youngsters a chance.

Former Virgin Formula One racer Jerome d’Ambrosio has branded Marussia Manor’s return to F1 “awesome” – as he says it’s important to have small teams that give young talent a chance to develop at the top level.

D’Ambrosio, who started 19 grands prix for Marussia Virgin in 2011 and one for Lotus in 2012, is delighted that the rebranded Manor team appears to have won its battle to return to the F1 grid this year.

"I think it's good to have small teams that can offer a chance to young drivers,” he told Motorsport.com. “It's important, simply because there are not many seats in F1. Look at a guy like (Kevin) Magnussen, who did a good season last year, and doesn't have a full-time drive anymore.

“On the other hand, I think it's good only on condition that they find stability. Marussia will never be a GP-winning team; at least, I don't think so. But with a bit of stability, they can do something nice.

“It's awesome to have small teams like them. It's important that those teams can survive and offer stability.

“But teams that don't manage to survive until the end of the season, that end up missing the last races? From that moment on, I think it's a bit negative for the sport as you only end up talking about the negatives".

‘No risk’ for 2015 race-seat filler

D’Ambrosio added that whomever partners Will Stevens in the second Manor entry will not be taking a huge career risk.

"I think it's pretty clear that it's not such a big risk for them,” he added. “To my mind, when you're part of such a team, it's important to have a well-established plan and to take this as a year to properly learn what F1 is, what a race weekend is, how it all works. 

“When you tie yourself with such a small team, where you know you're not going to run for the points, or that it's going to be very difficult to show your driving abilities, you really need a realistic long-term plan in the background. You have to see this as a development year as a driver, and as an occasion to learn about the F1 world.”

Jerome d’Ambrosio was talking to Guillaume Navarro

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Will Stevens
Article type Interview
Tags f1 cash crisis, marussia manor, virgin