The drivers were all champing at the bit so it was no surprise that the opening round of the 2013 GP2 Championship was a pretty hectic one! Although the DAMS drivers didn't have the best of qualifying sessions, they both made great comebacks in the races.

Marcus Ericsson didn't have much luck and failed to score, while Stéphane Richelmi fought his corner well and gave the French squad 12 points in the teams' championship.

Marcus Ericsson
Marcus Ericsson

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

As always qualifying plays a crucial role in the way the weekend turns out. Unfortunately, Ericsson and Richelmi got caught up in traffic and did not manage to make the most of their level of performance.

They lined up in thirteenth and fifteenth places on the grid for the first race right in the middle of a squabbling pack.

Ericsson made a great getaway and tried to fight his way up through the pack on the first lap during which he unfortunately got caught up in a collision that put an end to the Swede's race.

Richelmi was also tagged by another car at the start of the race dropping him back to twenty-second position. He made a fantastic comeback and broke into the top 10 finishing eighth at the flag, which gave him pole for the next day's heat.

The Monegasque made a good start but was quickly passed by Coletti and Nasr. He was solidly installed in third saving his tyres, and looked set for a top-3 finish until he missed his braking in the closing laps opening the door to Evans.

He saw the flag in fourth place. His team-mate who started from the second-last place on the grid made a great fight back, but he would have needed a few more laps to finish higher than thirteenth.

François Sicard, general manager: "It's a slightly disappointing start so we're not all that happy with the results. But it's mainly a question of circumstances.

It all began in qualifying when the drivers couldn't get in a clear lap. In the race they showed their speed and they were able to save their tyres.

We know how quick Marcus is, no doubt about that, and Stéphane proved over the weekend that he's capable of raising his game and fighting at the front.

Overall, we're happy with the twelve points he scored for us as we came from a long way back. We're reassured about the car's performance. Now, we're going to work very hard to arrive in Bahrain in an even stronger position."

Marcus Ericsson: "Obviously, I'm disappointed for the team and for myself to be leaving here without even scoring a point. The whole weekend was spoilt by traffic in qualifying and in the race.

My retirement in the first heat meant that I had to start from the last row on Sunday. However, I discovered just how quick the car is and made a good comeback.

I just needed a few more laps to score points. I'm sure we'll have the potential to fight at the front in the next race."

Stéphane Richelmi: "My overall feeling is one of satisfaction. First of all, my thanks to the team for the great job they did throughout the weekend. It's a pity I wasn't able to start from nearer the front in the first race.

This year DAMS has given me a very good car and it helped me to show what I'm capable of. I'm very happy to have made a good comeback in the first heat, but much less so about my start in the sprint race, and also to have missed out on a top-three finish on Sunday by so little. But we've got the speed and I can't wait for the next race in Bahrain."

DAMS