D'Ambrosio praises Lotus E20
Jerome d'Ambrosio is convinced the Lotus E20 is a "fantastic car" after completing 40 laps in it on Tuesday at Mugello.
It was d'Ambrosio's first outing in the car since he signed as the team's test driver over the winter. His previous F1 experience includes testing the 2010 Renault and racing for Virgin last year, but he said the E20 was unlike any other car he has driven.
"Although I only completed 40 laps, 20 in the wet and 20 in the dry, I instantly had a great feeling out on track," he said. "The E20 really is a fantastic car; totally different to anything I've driven before. In the dry especially it was immediately obvious just how good the car is in terms of stability and predictability; it's just a very easy car to drive. The team has been doing this for years with a great history of success, and you can feel that not just in the car, but in the way the whole team operates."
D'Ambrosio's test programme was curtailed by a downpour on Tuesday afternoon, but he said there would have been little to gain and a lot to lose if he had gone out in the worst of the weather.
"Of course it's disappointing; I was scheduled to do around 100 laps in dry conditions and as a driver you want as much time in the car as you can possibly get," he added. "Even at lunch I was expecting to go out again as the rain was easing off, but then the downpour came and ultimately it's what's best for the team that's the most important thing, no matter how much you might want to just get out there and drive.
"As I said, we would have gained very little by going out in conditions like that; in a race situation there would definitely have been red flags. It's not just disappointing for me; the team wanted to try out some new things, and unfortunately we couldn't do that. Ultimately, the risks outweighed the benefits, so we made the right decision by staying in the garage."