Round 1, Barcelone : A low-key start!
This weekend, DAMS raced in the first round of the 2010 GP2 Series, which was part of the F1 Grand Prix meeting on the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona. After a difficult qualifying session, the team was never in a position to fight for points in the two races on Saturday and Sunday.
Jerôme d'Ambrosio started from sixteenth place on the grid in race 1. He set off with the bit between his teeth and fought his way up to eighth place. He looked on target for a points-scoring finish until a defective wheel nut caused his retirement just after his pit stop. Ho-Pin Tung made a good comeback. The Chinese driver pulled back 9 places yesterday and four today. Despite two faultless drives he did not score any points.
DAMS is now concentrating on the next round of the championship in Monaco next weekend.
Loïc David: General Manager: "We would have liked to start our 2010 campaign in another fashion. We'll have to consider this round as a learning exercise, and not draw negative conclusions from our experience. We have to work in such a way as to be competitive in all the weekend sessions. In fact, our two cars' times in the second race were pretty good, which is encouraging. Monaco, next weekend, will be an atypical race on the calendar. It's the one every driver wants to win, and Jerôme's and Ho Pin's experience could make the difference on this circuit. We're feeling pretty optimistic for the rest of the season."
Race 1: 16th on the grid, rtd
Race 2: 21st on the grid, 13th at the finish
"I was very disappointed after qualifying as I had set the quickest time overall in the Barcelona winter test, so I was aiming for pole. I was slowed by a lack of overall grip when the quickest times were set with the first set of tyres. I started from sixteenth yesterday and pushed hard to try and score points, but my race was spoilt by a mechanical problem. It's frustrating but that's racing. Starting so far back this morning meant that a points finish was out of the question. I seized the slightest overtaking opportunity, and also used the race as a test session for the coming events. I'm disappointed but not downhearted, and I'm determined to shine in the Principality next weekend."
Race 1: 22nd on the grid, 13th at the finish
Race 2: 13th on the grid, 10th at the finish
"The first meeting's been a difficult one for the whole team, but we've learned some positive lessons from it. We made progress all weekend and we were on the pace in both races. Personally speaking, my comeback in the two events is also something to be pleased about. If we'd started a bit higher up the grid, we'd have been able to mix it with the front-runners. The aim for Monaco will be to improve our qualifying. I think we've got what it takes to do so."