GP2

Asia: Abu Dhabi: DAMS race 1 report

A podium for Romain Grosjean and DAMS in Abu Dhabi!

The 2011 Asian GP2 Series got off to a great start for DAMS with a podium thanks to Romain Grosjean, who set pole yesterday and finished second behind Jules Bianchi. F1 proved it last November, pole and the start are crucial on the Yas Marina circuit. The first race of the season in the Asian GP2 Series confirmed it. When the lights went out, Grosjean's car got off to a sluggish start, which his rival and fellow-countryman immediately took advantage of. Although just afterwards, a spectacular accident caused a red flag and a restart behind the safety car, the positions up front did not change.

Grosjean pushed hard in the first corner and remained glued to his rival's tail for thirty laps. Despite an early pit stop, he was unable to take first place and finished on the podium. Pal Varhaug had a fiery baptism. The DAMS rookie started in twenty-second place, and was the unlucky victim of the start line chaos. He tried to go round Clos's stalled car, but could not avoid Razia's, which sent him up into the air and into the wall. Luckily, the young Norwegian was unhurt.

Loпc David, General Manager: "A great result for the team. A minor glitch with the anti-stall mechanism hampered Romain at the start and also when he rejoined after his pit stop. However, he drove a very good race and this podium finish is an excellent beginning to the season for DAMS. We're also pleased that Pal wasn't hurt in the start line accident. He was really unlucky. Unfortunately, his car is very badly damaged. The team's going to burn the midnight oil so that he can start tomorrow."

Romain Grosjean: 2nd pos.
"My second place is a great result for the whole team, and for me. We did a great job for the first race and we're as quick as the best. I was slightly faster than Jules, but overtaking is impossible here. We lost the race at the start because of a clutch problem. Now, I'm sure that the DAMS team will win races this year."

Pal Varhaug: Rtd
"I made a good getaway and then suddenly chaos broke out in front of me. I tried to avoid it by going left of the car stuck in the middle of the track, but another car slammed into me. I was punted into the wall without being able to do anything about it. It was one hell of an impact! The car's in a pretty bad state. Even so I hope to be able to start tomorrow."

-source: dams

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