A HECTIC SCHEDULE! Just a few days after racing in the second round of the Asian GP2 Championship, the DAMS team and its two drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Jerome d'Ambrosio, were hard at work on the Paul Ricard circuit for two days' practice with...
A HECTIC SCHEDULE!
Just a few days after racing in the second round of the Asian GP2 Championship, the DAMS team and its two drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Jerome d'Ambrosio, were hard at work on the Paul Ricard circuit for two days' practice with the new car, which will be used in this year's GP2 Championship.
The first day's programme was devoted to getting to grips with the new GP2 single-seater, as well as ironing out the inevitable reliability problems that rear their heads when fettling in a new car. The team decided not to shod new tyres and concentrate on learning about its new machine.
The engineers use the second morning to run though a number of set-ups to study the car's handling in different conditions. As they were busy ironing out the various glitches they decided to postpone the fitting of new rubber until the afternoon.
Overall, the two days have been very productive. They have enabled the drivers, engineers and mechanics to adapt to a completely new car and prepare for the coming season.
Barcelona will the theatre of another test session next week.
Eric Boullier, Team Manager: "It was important for us to understand the reactions of the new GP2 Series car, and not to run before we could walk. Our drivers also needed some time to familiarise themselves with this new machine. We were not really going for a time given the specific nature of the Castellet layout. Being quick here is no real guarantee of being competitive on the circuits hosting the championship. Overall, it's been an encouraging two days. I'd like to thank the team for all the hard work they've put into solving the teething trouble we encountered with this completely new car."
Day 1: 7th quickest time in the afternoon.
Day 2: 17th quickest time in the afternoon.
"We didn't do a lot of running on the first day because of minor reliability problems. In addition, the car needed numerous adjustments. I think we learned a lot on the second day. The car is a big step forward performancewise as well as from a driver's point of view compared to the old model. I like its handling, which is much closer to that of an F1. I'm disappointed not to have got the best out of my new tyres in the late afternoon today because of traffic. I'm confident, though, as I was sixth-quickest for most of the afternoon when everybody was on new rubber."
Day 1: 25th quickest time in the afternoon.
Day 2: 26th quickest time in the afternoon.
"The early part of testing was a bit difficult as the car's handling posed problems for me that I hadn't met before. It's much quicker and more sensitive than the old one. Its steering seems very heavy and I found it difficult to get used to. But then everything fell into place. Finally, this test session's been very positive. We still have a lot more to learn and I can't wait to get to Barcelona to continue my preparation."