Kick off for the GP2 season! This weekend in Barcelona, DAMS will start its sixth season in the GP2 Series Championship, which is a launching pad to Formula 1 for young drivers. The team will tackle the 2010 season with new colors and a revised...
Kick off for the GP2 season!
This weekend in Barcelona, DAMS will start its sixth season in the GP2 Series Championship, which is a launching pad to Formula 1 for young drivers. The team will tackle the 2010 season with new colors and a revised organization. Its aims, on the other hand, remain unchanged - the title.
The two DAMS cars will race in the championship in the same livery as that of the F1 Renaults. The two drivers are members of the Renault F1 Driver Programme. Jerôme d'Ambrosio and Ho-Pin Tung are among the most promising drivers in the GP2 field. Backing them up will be a revised organization, whose aim is to be more pro active and improve the technical expertise of the DAMS team. So it looks like all the right ingredients are in place for a very competitive season to enable the team to meet its objectives.
There will be eleven rounds in the 2010 championship, ten of which will be held at the same time as a Formula 1 Grand Prix. In five years, the GP2 Series has be come one of the most closely fought in the world, and is a hotbed of talent for Formula 1. Since 2005, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock and Nico Hulkenberg have all won the championship, and today they are racing in the top category of motor sport.
Jean-Paul Driot, Team Principal: "It's a very special season for DAMS as it's a break with the previous ones. These changes are always useful in the life of a team as they supply an extra dose of motivation. Visually speaking, the team has a brand-new identity and we're determined to show that we're worthy of Renault F1's confidence."
Loïc David, General manager: "We're arriving in Barcelona at the peak of preparation. We took advantage of the winter testing to fine-tune our reflexes and our working methods, as well as evaluating the car's reactions each time the setup changed. On this circuit in the final test session, Jerôme set the fastest time overall. So we're feeling optimistic and hope that we'll be fighting at the front throughout the whole season."
Jerôme d'Ambrosio and Ho-Pin Tung: "A great opportunity"
Both DAMS drivers, who are also members of the Renault F1 Driver Programme, are starting their season this weekend on the Montmelo circuit. They talk about their winter training and their ambitions for the 2010 championship.
The season is starting this weekend? Are you feeling impatient?
JDA: "And how! This winter, together with DAMS we did a huge amount of work in private testing. I've been with this team for several years now, and this season new engineers have arrived. So we've taken enough time to develop our relationship, go back to basics and run through all the setups and progress in a methodical fashion. This approach has paid off as we set the quickest time overall in the final test session before the start of the season. "
HPT: "I can't wait to start racing in the GP2 Series in which the overall level is so high. As a driver you always want to win but how you do it also counts. Knowing that you're competing against the best, the young drivers who're determined to go into F1 one day, is a very motivating challenge."
What are your ambitions for the coming season?
"JDA: "I think I've got the speed and the experience to go for the title this season. DAMS is also structured to achieve this, so it's our common aim. To do it we mustn't make any mistakes, and above all be consistent. In GP2, a poor qualifying session or a retirement in the first race can lead to a big loss of points."
HPT: "With DAMS and a team-mate like Jerôme, I think I've stacked all the odds in my favor to be on the pace this season. In the final test in Spain, I had a recurrent mechanical problem, which the team pinpointed and s olved on the return to the factory. I now know that I'll be much quicker than my times three weeks ago seemed to suggest."
You're carrying the Renault F1 Team colors. Does that add extra pressure?
JDA: "Quite the opposite! It's extra motivation. For any driver, wearing the black and yellow driving suit is an honor, as the name Renault is closely linked to motor racing. Benefitting from the backing of the team in GP2 and carrying its colors is an ideal situation. It doesn't add any negative pressure."
HPT: "I agree. What's more, we're competing in front of the whole F1 race team. We feel we're being supported, and we'll also want to show them that they've made the right choice by selecting us."