DAMS make up ground in Hungary !
The DAMS GP2 team confirmed its return to form at the Hungaroring with a feature race podium for Davide Valsecchi and a fantastic fightback drive by Felipe Nasr in Sunday's run following mechanical problems during the opening contest. The French squad and its drivers thus enter the summer break on a positive note, remaining fully in contention for both the drivers' and teams' championships.
Following productive Friday practice sessions Valsecchi delivered a superb qualifying effort to seal a place on the front row of the grid, lapping just shy of pole position. Nasr would also show impressive pace but was unable to find a clear lap, forcing him to settle for 13th spot.
On a circuit where overtaking is notoriously tricky, Valsecchi enjoyed a great getaway but couldn't quite overhaul polesitter Max Chilton into turn one. Nevertheless the Italian would show strong pace throughout and, thanks to a flawless strategy and perfectly executed pit stop, came home in second spot to beat title rival Luiz Razia to the flag. Valsecchi would take a total of five points from the Brazilian after sealing the fastest lap of the race.
Meanwhile Nasr made a good start and worked his way up the order to run eighth – a result that would have secured him pole for Sunday's second race – only for a brake issue to force him into retirement just four laps from the chequered flag.
On Sunday the DAMS drivers would belie the Hungaroring's reputation as a tough passing circuit with Valsecchi climbing from seventh on the grid to finish just behind Razia in fourth. And, in an even more eye-catching display, Nasr delivered an astonishing performance to storm from 25th at the start to an eighth place finish, the youngster lighting up the race with some stunning overtaking manoeuvres. This would be the perfect tonic for the Brazilian after his frustrating opening race exit.
Jean-Paul Driot, President: "First of all, I'd like to offer my congratulations to both the team and Davide. They've been strong all weekend and have kept our title challenge on course. I am also very sorry for Felipe as the brake problem was our fault and, after seeing his pace on Sunday, it's both disappointing and frustrating. Now we will use the summer break to recharge our batteries knowing one thing for certain: that boy is going to win races soon."
Davide Valsecchi: "It's a shame that we couldn't quite take the win on Saturday, but overall the results this weekend were very positive. I'm glad to have made-up ground after Hockenheim – I owed it to the team – and I will come back even stronger for the final few races of the season."
Felipe Nasr: "I have mixed feelings about this weekend. The glass half empty approach would be to say that I proved a point, but the glass half full perspective allows me to see Sunday's race as very promising for the remainder of the season. Everyone makes mistakes but today the team gave me a fantastic car. I hope I can repay them with a victory in the final few rounds of the year."
Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), 1/2 September.