Sebastien Buemi will remain Red Bull’s official third and reserve driver in 2013, the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick reports.
Eric Boullier was vague when asked if Romain Grosjean’s constant first-lap crashes have endangered his future in formula one.
“Not for now,” said the Lotus team boss, who doubles as the head of the Gravity company that manages the beleaguered Frenchman’s career. After his Monza race ban, Grosjean was back in trouble at Suzuka when he incurred the furious Mark Webber’s wrath for yet another first-corner crash.
Romain Grosjean’s race ban – the first in formula one for almost two decades – has not damaged the Frenchman’s relationship with Lotus.
That is the claim of his boss and manager Eric Boullier, who fended off speculation Grosjean, 26, could be on the verge of blowing his second and final shot at a grand prix career. Boullier’s other Gravity-managed driver, Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio, is sitting in for Grosjean this weekend, prompting the risk the usually-happy Frenchman could lose momentum and – as he did at the end of 2009 – once again slide off the grid.
Jerome d’Ambrosio has revealed he could drive one of the Lotus cars during Friday morning practice sessions at some point in 2012.
The former Virgin driver, who is managed by Lotus boss Eric Boullier’s Gravity company, was appointed as the team’s third and reserve driver for this year. But, until now, it was not known if the role would involve Friday morning practice duties.
Former Virgin driver Jerome d’Ambrosio will be the third driver for Lotus in 2012.
The 26-year-old Belgian’s career is handled by Gravity, the management arm of the former Renault team’s owners Genii. He will “attend all races” this season and be ready to replace Kimi Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean if required, Lotus said in a media statement.
“It’s not just a question of Vitaly or Bruno”
Virgin has refused to confirm reports it has already decided to replace Jerome d’Ambrosio with French rookie Charles Pic in 2012.
Renault’s team boss has added fuel to speculation Vitaly Petrov might be ousted at the end of the season.
It was reported last week that not only Russian Petrov but also his 2010 teammate Robert Kubica could be overlooked for the Enstone based team’s race seats next year. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said that, instead, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean might be regarded as the favourites, despite the fact Petrov has a valid contract.
GP2′s newly crowned champion is ready to return to formula one, according to his manager Eric Boullier.
Frenchman Boullier, in charge of the Gravity management company, doubles as Renault team principal, where countryman Romain Grosjean is regarded as a possible teammate for Russian Vitaly Petrov next year.
Romain Grosjean will take a big step towards returning to formula one in September.
Italy’s Autosprint reports that the Swiss-born Frenchman is set to stand in during Friday morning practice in Singapore for Renault’s Nick Heidfeld. Heidfeld, who is substituting for the injured Robert Kubica this year, also sat out practice in Hungary last month for the team’s Brazilian reserve driver Bruno Senna.
Virgin is in no rush to re-sign Belgian rookie Jerome d’Ambrosio for 2012.
The team announced at the Nurburgring last week that his teammate Timo Glock will be staying on board for up to three more years. Reports subsequently emerged that talks with d’Ambrosio’s management Gravity about 2012 have begun.
Jerome d’Ambrosio could lose his seat at Virgin because his sponsors have not paid up.
The newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws said the reluctance of the rookie’s Belgian sponsors could hand the race seat to Robert Wickens, whose sponsors are eager for the young Canadian to make his debut as soon as possible.
“Both drivers have done an outstanding job for us in our debut season.”
Jerome d’Ambrosio will replace Virgin regular Lucas di Grassi for four of the remaining five Friday morning practice sessions in 2010. Recent speculation hinted at the possibility of a 2011 race seat for the Belgian GP2 driver, whose manager has revealed he has already raised the majority of the necessary budget.
Berger to join Renault team in 2010 – report
A member of Ho-Pin Tung’s management team has confirmed reports the Dutch-born Chinese is not guaranteed a race seat at Renault in 2010. 27-year-old Tung tested the R29 recently at Jerez because he is managed by the Gravity Sports company. Closely involved with Gravity is Gerard Lopez, the new majority owner of the Enstone based formula one team.
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