PARIS - The Lotus team says Jerome d'Ambrosio of Belgium will be its reserve driver in the 2012 Formula One season, providing backup to Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

The 26-year-old D'Ambrosio said Tuesday that "it's an exciting next step in my career" and an opportunity he "couldn't afford to miss."

D'Ambrosio lost his spot at Marussia Virgin Racing to French driver Charles Pic two months ago.