The weekends follow one another in a similar pattern for the reigning 2-time GP2 title winner. Unfortunately not the right one, though!
Marcus Ericsson and Stéphane Richelmi made a quiet start to the weekend on Friday and finished free practice among the mid-field runners.
After that they showed their true pace in qualifying and Richelmi put his car on provisional pole until he was pipped in the dying seconds by his team-mate.
The DAMS drivers were the only ones to break the 1m 29s- barrier and they were over 4/10s quicker than their nearest rival, Felipe Nasr.
After such a performance the team was expecting great things for race 1. But yet again Lady Luck didn't smile on the French squad. Ericsson made a good start, built up a 6-second lead and then came in to change his tyres on lap 7. Unfortunately, he rejoined among the back-markers and the Swede's car was harpooned by Sam Bird causing its retirement.
Richelmi made an average start; he then got back into his stride and after his stop he nursed his tyres. But he was victim of Tom Dillmann, Bird's team-mate's mistake, who collided with him. He managed to restart and saw the flag in fifteenth place.
On Sunday, DAMS's jinx struck again! Despite good starts from fifteenth and twenty-second places, the French team's drivers suffered excessive tyre wear in the mid-field pack and had to make do with fifteenth (Richelmi) and twentieth (Ericsson) positions. All runs of bad luck come to an end and hopefully this will be the case on the Monaco roller-coaster in two weeks.
François Sicard, Managing Director: "Yet another very frustrating weekend after the delight of seeing the cars in DAMS colours lock out the front row followed by the huge let-down because of the results. The car and the drivers are obviously quick, but we don't always manage to put all the elements in place.
Our pit stops weren't beyond reproach for once, and collisions lost us points in the first race. After that it was very difficult to fight back on Sunday. Now, we have to do everything we can to avoid these problems and convert our real level of performance into results."
Marcus Ericsson: "The weekend got off to a fantastic start with pole position and the double with Stéphane. It was great for the team and for us both. I made a very good start in race one and opened up a gap. But a minor incident during my pit stop meant that I rejoined in the traffic and Bird hit me.
There was nothing I could do. It was a shame as I was well on the way to giving the team its first win of the year. The race on Sunday wasn't great either, especially as the tyres suffered very rapid degradation in traffic. I'm determined to get my revenge in Monaco!"
Stéphane Richelmi: "I was delighted with my place on the front row both for myself and for the team. It was the only successful moment of the weekend and I didn't even score a point! In Malaysia and Bahrain I was hit, but here I was defending my place while leaving Dillmann enough room and I was handed a penalty!
A lack of success, an accumulation of small glitches and the results don't follow. We have to continue to work on qualifying, above all for Monaco where it's even more important than elsewhere. But we can build on our performance and that's encouraging for the coming races. Bad series don't last and I hope that'll be the case in Monaco where I adore the circuit and the race."