Tag Archives: Jerome D’Ambrosio

What happened to those who left: 2011

7 Feb

With the 2013 F1 season soon to start lets look at what happened to the drivers who left F1 at the end of the 2011 season:

  • Adrian Sutil (90 F1 races / 95 F1 points) – last season Adrian did not compete in any major racing category.
  • Nick Heidfeld (185 races / 259 points / 13 F1 podiums) – over the 2012 season Heidfeld competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 WEC races / 42.5 WEC points / 1 WEC podium).
  • Jaime Alguersuari (46 races / 31 points) – Jaime spent last season commentating for BBC radio 5 on the Formula 1 season.
  • Sebastian Buemi (55 races / 29 points) – Spent last season as Red Bull’s test drive and also competed in the Le Mans 24 hours (the car didn’t make it to the end of the race).
  • Rubens Barrichello (326 races / 658 points / 68 podiums / 11 F1 wins) – After leaving Formula 1 Barrichello started competing in Indy Car (15 Indy Car races / 289 points) he finished 12th in the championship. Barrichello also raced as a guest in three races of Brazilian Stock Car.
  • Jarno Trulli (256 races / 246.5 points / 11 podiums / 1 win) – Jarno did not compete last season, but did you know that Trulli’s a co-owner of a vineyard.
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (81 races / 26 points) – Liuzzi has been busy competing in the International Superstars Series (16 races / 181 points / 9 podiums / 2 wins) finishing 2nd in the championship, the Campionato Italiano Superstars (10 races / 92 points / 3 podiums / 1 win) finishing 3rd in the championship and he competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 races / 4 points).
  • Jerome D’Ambrosio (20 races / 0 points) – Jerome was Lotus’ test driver over last season and competed in the Italian GP after Grosjean was banned.
  • Karun Chandhok (11 races / 0 points) – Karun spent 2012 driving in the World Endurance Championship (8 races / 50.5 points)

Romain Grosjean given 1 race ban. Is it fair?

4 Sep

At turn one of last weekends dramatic GP there was an almighty pile up at turn one forcing 4 drivers to retire and giving Kobayashi damage that would ruin his race, as a result of this Romain Grosjean was found to be guilty of causing the incident by the FIA and as a result of this he has been given a 1 race ban and a £40,000 fine. This decision was made due to the potential injury caused by this crash, but is it a fair decision?

At a first glance it would appear fair, I mean Alonso wasn’t far from suffering a serious – and maybe fatal – injury, but from watching replays of the crash I don’t feel Grosjean was entirely responsible for the crash and that the crash should have been put down as a racing incident.


From watching this replay it appears that Grosjean made a slight error of judgement over how close his rear right tyre was to Hamilton’s front left and that he started braking for turn 1 slightly to early, these mistakes could very easily be put down as a lack of experience and a racing incident, but due to the result of this crash the officials decided he should be banned from competing in this weekend’s Italian GP.

If that is the reason the FIA gave Grosjean the ban then they should look back  to the final race of the 2010 season to find another time when a car went over the top of the other when at turn 6 on lap 1 Adrian Sutil’s Force India went over the top of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes. This crash forced the retirement of both of the drivers and forced the rest of the field to use a different track layout for a few laps (the only change of the route was to skip the chicane where the crash happened). As a result of this crash – which like Grosjean’s could have caused a serious injury – Sutil received no disciplinary action, whilst Grosjean’s similar crash has given him a one race ban and a £40,000 fine, this shows a lack of consistency from the FIA, something many fans have repeatedly criticised the FIA for.

Despite the unfairness of the decision it has happened now and Renault will have to field a different driver for the team this weekend, here are some of the main contenders:

Jerome D’Ambrosio: current Lotus reserve driver.

  • Jerome was the second driver for Marussia last season and the young Belgian put in a solid rookie season which didn’t merit being dropped from the team.
  • Positives: He’s had lots of experience with the team in pre season testing and drove all season last year. He’s highly regarded and he could pick up points for team.
  • Negatives: He’s never driven a competitive car in race conditions before.
  • Chances: 8/10

Nick Heidfeld: drove for Lotus (who were Renault) for the first half of last season.

  • Nick put in consistent performances for Renault last season including a podium in the second race of the season in Malaysia.
  • Positives: Nick’s a consistent performer and is likely to put in a good performance and pick up points.
  • Negatives: Was dropped last season for not being good enough, he’s unlikely to have got better over the past year and is famous for being the driver to hold the record for the most races (and points) without a win.
  • Chances: 4/10

With such short notice it is very unlikely that Lotus wouldn’t choose D’Ambrosio for the coming weekend and it should provide us an good insight to how good Jerome can be with a competitive team.


Valencia driver ratings.

21 Jun

Sebastian Vettel 5/10

Starting to get a bit dull with Vettel constantly winning, this is reducing his scores as he’s only achieving what’s expected.

Webber 6/10

Qualified 2nd to prove the Red Bull can be drove quickly by him but couldn’t match Alonso in the race. Sadly for Mark it’s going to take a huge push to turn around the standings and finish 1st.

Hamilton 7/10

Well he finished the race but didn’t really perform to the expected expectations. In the race Lewis finished half a minute behind the top 3. Seems like race pace is the problem for McLaren as Hamilton was swamped by both the Ferraris at the start.

Button 6/10

Not at the same level as he was in Montreal and qualifying 6th ruined his chances of winning, Jenson almost lost 6th to Rosberg in the race but he quickly got it back again. The big problem JB had was finishing a whole minute behind Vettel.

Alonso 8/10

Provided the excitement  in the race by attacking the Red Bulls but still couldn’t match Vettel, qualifying 4th wasn’t as good as he may have been expecting but took Hamilton early to set up an attack on Webber.

Massa 8/10

Another good performance by Massa will help Maranello to regain confidence in him. Biggest problem was using too many sets of softs in qualifying and this held him back in the race. Took Hamilton at the first corner and could have gone up to second at the second corner if he hadn’t held back.

Rosberg 6/10

Another good performance by Rosberg, if he keeps this up he may pick up his first win in the next few seasons.

Schumacher 4/10

The only reason he was so far back was due to hitting Petrov and losing the front wing – something he admitted was his fault later. But Schumacher  wasn’t as good as he has been.

Petrov 3/10

Not good is all I can say, Vitaly failed to qualify for Q3 and then manages to finish 15th! The only excuse Vitaly can have for his performance is that Schumacher’s conflict with him fazed him.

Heidfeld 6/10

Showed Vitaly Petrov that the car was worth of doing well at Valencia by out qualifying his team mate to make it to Q3 (qualifying has been one of Nicks weak points this year) and then holding on to a point for the finish. After Renaults great start to the campaign I think their car is starting to lag behind the leaders.

Adrian Sutil 7/10

Showing signs of closing the gap in qualifying to his teammate Paul Di Resta by out qualifying him and making it to Q3 (although not going out to set a time is disappointing for him) and then a good race clawing up 1 place to finish with 2 points.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

Not Di Resta’s best race as he failed to outperform his team mate in qualifying before managing to lose two places in the race to allow this to not go down in his all time best races.

Kamui Kobayashi 4/10

You know a race isn’t going to have overtaking when Kobayashi doesn’t manages to lose places in the race and isn’t making headlines for amazing manoeuvres. Kamui would have got a 5 if it hadn’t been for the way you just expect him to liven up a race.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Another good race by the Ferrari prospect (he’s part of their driver training program and is a serious contender to replace Massa at the Scud) saw him rise from 16th to 11th and made up for his teammates lack of excitement.

Rubens Barrichello 5/10

Average at best qualified 13th and finished 12th in a rather uneventful day at the office.

Pastor Maldonado 4/10

Another Williams driver who did next to nothing to liven up a dull race although his stalling at a corner bringing out a red flag was the most exciting thing to happen in qualifying. Managed to lose 3 places during the race, all to drivers who shot up the race timings.

Sebastian Buemi 8/10

A good rise from 17th to 13th ensured that the fight for the Toro Rosso seat is becoming even more tense and exciting, apart from that he was very much like the race: dull and uneventful.

Jaime Alguersuari 10/10

Can I give higher than 10. In a otherwise dull race Jaime set Spanish hearts racing by rising, wait for it, 10 spots to finish 8th. I’m a fan of Jaime and this race proved the potential he has, I can only hope he carries on like this to secure the Toro Rosso seat.

Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan 6/10

Sadly none of them were taking any headlines or really overtaking. The main reason for this is probably that there wasn’t a safety car which would have gave them a chance of taking a risk which may pull off.

The race as a whole 1/10

In one word dull. In 5 dull dull dull dull dull. I’m enjoying the new Pirellis but they just couldn’t liven it up. I think that with this race losing it’s pull factor that we need two races in Germany (Hockenheim  and Nurburgring) both are great tracks and deserve the GP and Germany has the highest number of drivers in the championship and the two of the current biggest icons: Schue and Vettel.

Final testing championship standings.

3 May

The time has come at last, 15 days of testing has all come down to this.  Each day of testing there’s 15 points up for grabs, 5 for the driver who sets the fastest time going down to 1 point for the 5th fastest. Here are the final drivers standings:

  1. Romain Grosjean           Lotus             25
  2. Sebastian Vettel              Red Bull        24
  3. Fernando Alonso           Ferrari           22
  4. Kamui Kobayashi           Sauber           14
  5. Mark Webber                   Red Bull        14
  6. Sergio Perez                      Sauber           13
  7. Jean-Eric Vergne            Toro Rosso  13
  8. Jenson Button                  McLaren      12
  9. Daniel Ricciardo             Toro Rosso  12
  10. Kimi Raikkonen              Lotus              11
  11. Nico Hulkenburg            Force India   11
  12. Nico Rosberg                   Mercedes       10
  13. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes        9
  14. Pastor Maldonado         Williams        9
  15. Paul Di Resta                   Force India   8
  16. Lewis Hamilton              McLaren        7
  17. Felipe Massa                    Ferrari            4
  18. Bruno Senna                     Williams        3
  19. Jules Bianchi*                  Force India    2
  20. Jerome d’Ambrosio*       Lotus                2
  21. Heikki Kovalainen          Caterham        1

* represents a test driver

Congratulations to Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean, it really went down to the wire. Fernando is a surprise to be so high up after all the cars problems, but he went fastest on tuesday. Romain Grosjean World Drivers Testing Championship Champion (WDTCC).

Here are the final team standings:

  1. Lotus              38
  2. Red Bull         38 (Red Bull are second having gone fastest in less sessions)
  3. Sauber            27
  4. Ferrari           26
  5. Toro Rosso   25
  6. Force India   21
  7. McLaren        19
  8. Mercedes        19
  9. Williams        12
  10. Caterham        1

Congratulations to Lotus, World Constructors Testing Championship Champions (WCTCC) and there drivers Romain Grosjean (WDTCC), Kimi Raikkonen and Jerome d’Ambrosio. Also congratulations are in order to Red Bull and Sauber. Ferrari have done well to finish 4th overall and Toro Rosso for keeping it a close fight for 3rd.

Marussia’s Rookies

29 Apr

Ever since the team now known as Marussia joined the scene in 2010 the second seat in the team has always been filled by a rookie who lasts one season with the team before a new rookie is brought in. All of the rookies have come with big CVs Lucas Di Grassi had 3 times been a Renault test driver and had finished in the top three of the GP2 on three ocassions, Jerome d’Ambrosio had tested F1 cars for Renault and Virgin (the team that turned into Marussia) and finished 2nd in the 2008-09 GP2 Asia series and Charles Pic had finished 4th in the 2011 GP2 series. Despite these credentials and the potential they’ve shown over their season none of them have ever lasted more than one season. This post will see how this year’s rookie Charles Pic compares to the previous drivers in his position.

The numbers I’ll be looking at are how each rookie’s qualification time compares to Timo Glock’s, and then I turned this into a percentage so it’s easier to compare. So far we’re four races in and Charles Pic has been on average 0.34% slower than Timo Glock. After four races Lucas Di Grassi was on average 0.49% slower (not including his performance at Malaysia when his flying lap was hit by technical problems) and Jerome d’Ambrosio was on average 0.56% slower. By the end of the season though Lucas Di Grassi had lost some of his pace and was on average 1.71% slower whilst Jerome d’Ambrosio became quicker and finished on average 0.4% slower.

This shows that from what we’ve seen so far Charles Pic is the best Marussia rookie there has been, and maybe this year will be the year that Marussia keep their second driver for a second season.

This result though is definitely a surprise in my opinion as Charles had the least impressive CV of the three and had never been a test driver for a Formula 1 team before joining the team for the young driver testing last season.

Driver Ratings, Brazil. Pt.4 Toro Rosso, Virgin and Williams.

8 Dec

Jaime Alguersuari 6/10 Q13 F11

A disastrous start left him 17th and it took some motivation to work his way up to 9th on the first stint before eventually having to settle for 11th.

Sebastian Buemi 5/10 Q14 F12

Like Jaime he had a strong 1st stint pitting from 8th but his second pit stop was probably a few laps to early and this left him stuck behind Jaime and to finish 12th.

Timo Glock 5/10 Q24 F24

Yet again had to look up the back of every car as HRT carry on this change from the ultimate team to the penultimate, but it was a good 21 laps as he’d already moved up to 21st.

Jerome D’Ambrosio 6/10 Q23 F19

Managed to out qualify his much more experienced team mate and then managed to overtake both the HRTs, all in all a race Jerome can be proud to call his last (probably).

Rubens Barrichello 7/10 Q12 F14

Rubens couldn’t have wished for a worse start dropping 7 places to fall down to 19th, but he proved why he shouldn’t be ruled out of  driving next season in the second stint rising from 19th to 15th before gaining another place in the final pit stop to finish 14th.

Pastor Maldonado 6/10 Q18 F ret.

Looked destined to have one of his better races having already advanced to 16th before he span off.

Driver Ratings, India. Pt.4 Toro Rosso, Virgin and Williams.

2 Nov

Sebastian Buemi 6/10 Q9 F retired

After Toro Rosso’s best qualifying session this year Seb started ahead of the Williams and the Renaults, both teams with a history of winning. But sadly the start wasn’t up to the expectations from the day before and like that he was 12th. Over the next 23 laps he worked on getting back up to 9th, which he did before he needed to pit and came out in 12th again, before retiring with an engine failure.

Jaime Alguersuari 7/10 Q10 F8

An amazing feat to get to Q3, especially seeing as he isn’t usually a good qualifier, and unlike Buemi he reached our expectations, although he dropped one place at the start he worked to get up to 9th before pitting and then took himself to 8th, although his second pit took him back to 9th Felipe Massa’a retirement secured him 4 points in the championship.

Timo Glock 4/10 Q24 F retired

Unlucky to have such a short race as Kamui Kobayashi forced him to enter a spin after he retook the track. Timo was unlucky to have to qualify 24th as if it wasn’t for a car malfunction he looked set to start his usual 21st ahead of team mate and both the HRTs.

Jerome D’Ambrosio 7/10 Q21 F16

Shot up the places on the first lap as he managed to avoid the carnage and managed to embark on a good fight with Karthikeyan, a fight he won on lap 50.

Rubens Barrichello 7/10 Q15 F15

Was the worst driver on the first lap going down to 22nd and having to have a front wing replaced, but after that he drove like a demon somehow managing to get the car to 15th before his second pit stop. It was a race which summed up Rubens, never give up.

Pastor Maldonado 6/10 Q13 F retired

Showed his pace in qualifying beating Barrichello by 0.9 seconds and this also took him above both Renaults. Compared to some he had a good start, only losing one place, which he quickly regained before his retirement on lap 12.