Jerome d’Ambrosio has joined the Venturi Formula E team in the role of deputy team principal, a move that signifies the 34-year-old Belgian former Formula 1 driver’s formal retirement from competitive driving.
His top-line career spanned to 2003 to 2020 and saw him start 20 grands prix (all bar one being for the Marussia Virgin Racing team in 2011) and every Formula E race.
D’Ambrosio scored three Formula E wins, the first two for the Dragon team at the Berlin E-Prix in 2015 and at Mexico City in 2016. Both victories came as a result of Lucas di Grassi being disqualified for technical infractions.
His third win came at the Marrakesh E-Prix in 2019, when he capitalised on a collision between Alexander Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa while the two BMW i Andretti drivers battled for the lead.
Prior to F1 and Formula E, d’Ambrosio competed in various junior single-seater championships. These included the shortlived International Formula Master series, where he was champion in 2007, and GP2 from 2008 to 2010, in which d’Ambrosio took a single victory at Monaco for DAMS (pictured below).
The Belgian driver’s new position at Venturi will see him work closely with team principal Susie Wolff and attend all races in his new capacity.
D’Ambrosio stated that that he decided to stop competing after the Berlin events in August when it became clear that he would not be kept on at Mahindra for a third campaign, but said he “knew I wanted to stay involved in motorsport in some capacity.
“I’m still a very competitive person,” he said. “That hunger to win doesn’t leave you when you decide to step out of the car, and I want to put that passion to good use.
“When Susie and I started talking about potentially taking my first step into a management role, I knew in my gut that the opportunity was perfect for me. It’s time for a new challenge and I have a lot to learn, but I know that I’ll be learning from one of the best and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”
Susie Wolff said that she knew “what it’s like to hang up your helmet and I also know how important the next move is at any pivotal stage of a person’s career”.
“Like Jerome, I’m someone who follows their gut instincts and I think that we’ll make a fantastic team moving forward,” Wolff continued.
“When I took on the role of team principal in July 2018, one of my main areas of focus was to ensure that we have the right people in the right roles.
“Understandably, as we evolve as a team, our needs change and grow. Jerome taking on the role of deputy team principal will serve to strengthen the team – he will play a pivotal role with our drivers and engineering team and act as my right hand in Monaco.”
Venturi will run Edoardo Mortara for a fourth season in 2021 alongside Norman Nato, who was announced as filling the seat that had been vacated by Felipe Massa in August.
The team has been continuing preparations for next month’s test at Valencia by completing seat fittings for both drivers this week.
Speculation has encircled Venturi in recent months that new investors could be on the cusp of, or may already have taken a stake in the team.
Last month, The Race reported that Aston Martin Lagonda owner Lawrence Stroll had held discussions with both the Monegasque concern and the DS Techeetah team over the last 12 months.