The eight year old Jérôme d’Ambrosio caught the racing bug while on holiday in Spain. Hooked after a session of fun karting, he started racing seriously in 1995 and his karting career culminated in victory in the Formula A World Cup seven years later.
Early car racing career
D’Ambrosio graduated to cars in 2003 and immediately won the Belgian Formula Renault 1600 title with Thierry Boutsen Racing. Three frustrating seasons followed in Formula Renault and Euro 3000 before victory in 2007’s inaugural Formula Master Championship for Cram Motorsport.
He graduated to GP2 in 2008 and an improving season with DAMS included his best weekend on Valencia’s city circuit – finishing fifth on the Saturday and second in the sprint race. He repeated that latter result at Spa-Francorchamps and was 11th in the championship.
D’Ambrosio remained with DAMS for 2009 and began with a couple of podium finishes at Barcelona. Second in the Monaco sprint race that year, he scored a breakthrough victory in the Principality in 2010.
Formula 1 with Virgin and Lotus
Virgin’s reserve driver at four of the last five Grands Prix, he raced for the team in the 2011 F1 World Championship. Inevitably, the year was spent at the back of the grid but he acquitted himself well enough although 14th was his best result. He was not retained for 2012 and d’Ambrosio moved to Lotus Renault as reserve driver. That included replacing the banned Romain Grosjean for the Italian GP but the Belgian finished in a disappointing 13th position.
The Belgian joined Dragon Racing for the inaugural Formula E Championship in 2014/15. That included winning at Berlin’s Tempelhof airfield after Lucas di Grassi was disqualified, and a couple of second places in London as he finished fourth overall.
He remained with Dragon for the following season and qualified on pole position at Punte del Este and México City. Third in the former, he inherited victory in Mexico when di Grassi was disqualified once more. Unfortunately, Dragon lost its way thereafter and d’Ambrosio did not score another podium finish until the final round in London’s Battersea Park. D’Ambrosio and Dragon continued to struggle for the next two Formula E seasons – third in Zurich in June 2018 his only podium finish during that time.
The Belgian moved to Mahindra Racing for he 2018/19 campaign and immediately finished third at ad Diriyah. He then inherited victory in Marrakech when the BMW’s of Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims collided. Briefly leading the championship, d’Ambrosio scored points in four of the next fives races but could not sustain that form as the team faded.
In the 2019/20 season, he endured a disappointing year, ending up 16th in the drivers’ standings in what was his final season driving for the team. Following the conclusion of the season, D’Ambrosio took up the position of deputy team principal for the Venturi Formula E team.