D'Ambrosio: So Far, so good

Saturday 08-September-2012 08:58

Jerome D'Ambrosio concedes it won't be easy grabbing a top-ten grid slot at Monza as he makes his F1 return with Lotus.

The Belgian driver is in action at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix in a one-off, replacing the banned Romain Grosjean.

His first day back saw the Lotus test driver finish 12th on Friday with a 1:26.157, which was less than a second short of the day's P1 time.

"I think it was a fairly good day, definitely not an easy one with lots of things to do. Coming here in Monza, it's a low downforce track, it's definitely a challenge. I'd say so far, so good definitely," he said.

"We made steady progress between FP1 and FP2 so that's important for me. I'll stay relaxed and just try to do the best that I can.

"It's not after two sessions, especially here at Monza, that you have a full understanding of the car. I have to fine tune it as well to my driving, there's a bit of work on that, which we've really improved between the two sessions.

"Monza is a low downforce track, so the cars are always more nervous, a bit more difficult to drive but that's a good challenge. I love being here: it's a great track, you can really feel the speed of an F1 car."

However, D'Ambrosio admits it won't be easy securing a top grid slot in Saturday's qualifying due to the nature of the Monza track.

"I think it's one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, tracks to nail a lap because of the rhythm: you have long straights and few corners. You never really pick a rhythm.

"Braking points have to be right; you have more information and an estimation of where to do it but once you get them wrong, the whole corner is wrong. It's not like a semi-fast corner where you can manage to go round it."

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