All good things come to an end and DAMS is no exception to the rule! After two drivers' titles in succession and the teams' crown in 2012, the French squad did not score its hat trick. But it still put on an honourable performance as proved by its fourth place in the teams' ratings in 2013.
In Abu Dhabi, the final round of this year's championship, both DAMS drivers were again hit by bad luck. Ericsson's superb pole was cancelled as he had exceeded the track limits and he was put back to twelfth. This helped Richelmi (10th) to move up a place on the grid. However, in the main race the drivers met with different fortunes.
They both made a good start and came into one of the corners side by side: the Monegasque's car bounced over a kerb twisting a suspension arm putting an immediate end to his race. For his Swedish team-mate, on the other hand, all went off according to plan with an aggressive strategy based on a long first run on the prime tyres followed by a shorter one on the options. Both team and driver performed impeccably and this strategy gave Marcus third place on the podium.
The last race of the season on Sunday turned into a procession, at least for the front-runners. Behind, it was a different story! Ericsson started sixth where he finished: he was unable to mount an attack and was never under threat. Richelmi, who set off from the back of the grid, had a more hectic race.
He made a fighting comeback up to 14th place and he was then handed a severe drive-through penalty for cutting a chicane when he was involved in a no-holds-barred battle. With his race ruined the driver from Monaco put on fresh tyres and set the fastest lap in the race proving his competitiveness and that of his car. And so ended the season, but already 2014 is in DAMS's sights as preliminary tests are taking place in Abu Dhabi from Tuesday 5th to Thursday 7th November.
François Sicard, Managing Director: "We're satisfied with our finish to the season with another top-three finish; and I'd like to thank the team who never gave up. Finally, we paid for our poor start to the year where we weren't able to achieve the level of performance we were capable of. Since Silverstone we're the team that's scored the highest number of points and that makes our start all the more regrettable. Nonetheless, even if we didn't win the titles, we have every reason to be satisfied with the level of performance of the car and that of the drivers who were always competitive."
Marcus Ericsson: "First of all, I'd like to thanks DAMS for giving me a car that was always competitive. It's been a great experience working with them all; it's not down to chance that the team won the titles in 2011 and 2012! We didn't enjoy a great deal of luck; above all the start of the season and we deserved better than our final results. I'm happy to round off the year with another top-three finish, which is a partial reward for our efforts."
Stéphane Richelmi: "It's a great pity to finish the season like this. I wasn't able to get in a good lap in qualifying and then there was the incident on the first lap of the main race. I knew it would be very difficult the next day as I was starting from so far back, although I managed to make up a lot of places before the drive-through. Okay, I cut a chicane but I couldn't have done anything else in the heat of the action. I would really have liked to give the team a good result for all the work they've put in this year. I'm very pleased to have driven for DAMS and I hope that I'll improve even more next season."