Marcus Ericsson suffered two punctures in two races, and Stéphane Richelmi was caught in a sandwich between two cars...
The jinx which struck DAMS, and Marcus Ericsson in particular, at the start of the season came back to haunt the black and yellow team at Monza. The Swede suffered two punctures in two races, a very rare phenomenon, and he failed to score any points.
In free practice Richelmi set the fourth-quickest time, which boded well for qualifying. This was confirmed by Ericsson's performance as he took fourth place on the grid, while his Monegasque team-mate had to make do with tenth. The race got off to a good start for the Swede who was lying in a comfortable third place after his pit stop and seemed on course for a top-3 finish.
Unfortunately, a puncture put paid to his hopes and he had to retire. Richelmi made a brilliant comeback thanks to an aggressive, determined drive to see the flag in fourth place.
After this brief ray of Monegasque sunshine DAMS had a black Sunday! In the first corner Stéphane was caught in a sandwich between two cars and his front wing came off, so he had to pit immediately compromising his chances of a good result.
Marcus started from the back of the grid and had another puncture on the first lap! Overall it was a pretty grim weekend for DAMS although the team is still in fourth place in the teams' classification and a top-3 finish is still on the cards.
François Sicard, Managing Director: "In terms of points the score isn't great. We've got the potential to do a lot better, but we didn't have much luck. On Saturday, Marcus had third place sewn up until his puncture robbed him of a top-three finish. On Sunday he started from far back and punctured again! Not much more to be said. Fortunately, Stéphane's performance was some compensation for our setbacks. He put on a masterly drive to finish fourth. He proved that our cars are quick enough and that gives our hopes a big boost for the last two rounds."
Marcus Ericsson: "I thought that I'd finally got the monkey off my back but it reappeared this weekend! It was all going well in the first race and I had the situation under control when suddenly the car's handling went off. It was a puncture and that was that. Same story on Sunday with the puncture on the first lap. It's never happened to me before. I hope we can finish the season on a high note in Singapore and Abu Dhabi."
Stéphane Richelmi: "First of all I'd like to thank the team for giving me an excellent car. On Saturday, I was able to push hard and made a great comeback. I enjoyed my race and even if we weren't on the podium it confirmed our pace. I'll just have to qualify further up the grid and then I can fight for a place in the top-three - and maybe even go one better!"