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Jérôme d’Ambrosio may not have ever left the Formula 1 paddock, having been reserve driver for Lotus since he was dropped by Marussia Virgin, but Saturday marked his return to qualifying. The Belgian, narrowly escaping elimination in Q1, qualified 16th and was torn between emotions in the minutes which followed.
After the session, d’Ambrosio stressed that he aims to improve in the first sector of the Monza lap, which leads the cars from the start line to the exit of Curva Grande.
“I have mixed feelings really, to be honest,” said the 26-year-old, who is half Italian. “I progressed through to Q2 but it’s frustrating not to have done a bit better, as I’m really close in the second and third sectors but I’ve struggling a bit in the first since yesterday. About 60 to 70 percent of the difference to Kimi (Räikkönen) is lost there, so there’s a lot of time to be found in just two corners; we need to work on that for tomorrow.”
Sunday promises to bring a race of damage limitation for the other Lotus driver, who remains a championship contender with eight Grands Prix remaining in 2012.
“We didn’t have the speed today but at least we are in the top ten,” the Finn reported. “We’ve been in more or less the same position all weekend, so today’s pace was not a big surprise. It’s a long race and usually we are a bit stronger in race conditions. It is possible to overtake here so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Watching from the sidelines will be Romain Grosjean, who was banned from this weekend’s race for causing the first-corner crash in Belgium.
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