Jerome d'Ambrosio: "My aim? A podium finish on home turf!" This weekend, the DAMS driver will be competing in two races in his own country. Jerome is determined to shine in front of his home crowd after the three points he scored in Valencia...
Jerome d'Ambrosio: "My aim? A podium finish on home turf!"
This weekend, the DAMS driver will be competing in two races in his own country. Jerome is determined to shine in front of his home crowd after the three points he scored in Valencia last weekend.
Jerome, you're going to race at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Is it a special circuit for you?
JA: "Yes, for two reasons. Firstly, I grew up with this circuit. For all Belgians it's something unique. Secondly, for a driver the layout is a real pleasure. I like it all the more since racing in GP2. The speed and power of the car make Eau Rouge and Blanchimont real balls out corners! In F3 or Formula Renault, you go through these sectors flat out without even thinking. It GP2, they take on a whole other dimension, come at you very quickly and they must be even more challenging in an F1."
What's so special about the layout? JA: "It requires more concentration than the others. When you get behind the steering wheel you know you're going to tackle a motor racing myth, and that you've got no room for error. A lap of Spa is a mixture of apprehension and pleasure, a discharge of adrenalin, which makes it very special."
What are your aims for this weekend?
JA: "I want to be on the podium on home turf. A win would be a nice little bonus! My performances since the start of the season have shown that I'm capable of fighting at the front in the races. So there's no reason to aim for any other result."
Why have your recent performances in GP2 been disappointing?
JA: "Above all, we've been unlucky in qualifying. For a whole number of reasons (traffic, yellow flags, being on the track at the wrong time etc) I've been far back on the grid. In these conditions, it's impossible to catch the front-runners and both weekend's races are ruined. I'm driving in the same way and my motivation's intact. I've made some good comebacks and my lap times in the race show that I'm among the quickest. You mustn't lose confidence just because you've had a few bad weekends!"
Were the three points you scored in Valencia last weekend an encouragement?
JA: "Yes, because before that we'd had four difficult races. After more than three weeks' interruption we've restarted the season on the right foot."
What's your programme for 2010?
JA: "My aim's still the same -- get into Formula 1 in the near future. The difficult period the sport's gone though in the past few months hasn't helped young drivers, and until recently all negotiations were frozen. Today, things are clearer. In addition, the arrival of young competitive drivers has shown the teams that it's possible to bring in a rookie who's on the pace straight away, and that GP2 is a good training ground. I've got contacts but I can't talk about them as you can well imagine. The situation's looking good, and it'd be great for Belgium!"