The French squad is not one to rest on its laurels as the preparatory tests in March for the coming GP2 season proved.
The 2013 campaign didn't bring as much success to the Le Mans-based team as it was hoping for. It did, however, confirm that DAMS is a real launch pad to the top as Marcus Ericsson was the only driver from the 2013 GP2 crop to obtain a seat in Formula 1 in 2014.
In the first two days on the Yas Marina circuit Palmer fired a warning shot across the bows of his rivals as he topped the time sheets closely followed by Richelmi who finished in the top 3. But they will be up against tough opposition this year and other teams hit the front during the second session on the Bahrain circuit. Even so, Palmer was always among the six quickest in the six days' testing. His consistency and speed augur well for the coming year.
Apart from the figures themselves, the team was able to work in a calm frame of mind helped by the favourable weather conditions, and it found a number of interesting leads for the setups and the exploitation of the tyres, in particular in the heat in Bahrain. It was also able to pinpoint its main rivals for the championship title like Rossi and Haryanto at Caterham, Evans, Vandoorne, Lancaster and maybe even Marciello. No real overall hierarchy emerged during the tests and it looks like a thrilling season in perspective. Let battle begin!
François Sicard, Managing Director: "The preliminary tests were very encouraging for us. Jolyon has slotted into the team without problems and he immediately delivered the performance we know he's capable of. He was also very consistent in the work he did out on the track and that's crucial in establishing a base for success. Stéphane too confirmed that he made a big step forward last year and he'll be among the front-runners in 2014. We were also able to see that the whole team, the engineers and mechanics are ready, in particular thanks to very efficient pit stop rehearsals. We're now champing at the bit to arrive back in Bahrain for the first round and to prove that yet again we're among the title contenders this year."