Jerome d’Ambrosio – 22
Belgian newcomer Jerome got the hang of the MVR-02 fairly swiftly, and beat his teammate in qualifying in the third race of the season – China. Since then, however, he’s strugled and has often qualified behind Hispanias as well as his teammate. In Canada, he was the only driver to fall outside the 107% rule, though this was due to problems with the car in practice. In Hungary, however, he also qualified 24th.
Race-wise, Jerome has had two 14th-place finishes. In Australia the technical difficulties and disqualifications got him his first good result, and in Canada the rain helped him to finish behind Narain Karthikeyan – who was then demoted due to cutting the chicane. Monaco was his other best result, and he finished 15th behind Kovalainen. However, these have all been at races with particularly high attrition. If Kovalainen had another 14th-place finish, he would overtake the Belgian. Jerome has not typically been brilliant. His recent finishes have usually been only ahead of struggling drivers – Chandhok and Ricciardo in Germany, and Liuzzi with a broken front wing in Hungary. And he has definitely not been able to meet the pace of his teammate. The rookie will need to improve his performance if he’s to stay in F1 next year.
The good news for Jerome, however, is that his car is reliable. Virgin have have one DNS, two retirements and one non-classified finish. He’s only had one of those retirements. This reliability could see him get some more good results in the remainder of the season. He is also the fifth-best driver in terms of race laps completed, or fourth-best if De La Rosa is excluded.
Worst qualifying: 24
Best qualifying: 11
Worst finish: 22 (Valencia)
Best finish: 14 (Australia, Canada)
Average difference: 4.36
Laps completed: 642/681 (96%)
Average race position: 19.99 (Best: 18.0 Australia; Worst: 22.2 Valencia)