Round 10, Portimao: Curtains! This weekend, the DAMS team raced in the tenth and final round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the new Portimao circuit in the Algarve in Portugal. The team was determined to score a good result and end ...
Round 10, Portimao: Curtains!
This weekend, the DAMS team raced in the tenth and final round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the new Portimao circuit in the Algarve in Portugal. The team was determined to score a good result and end the season on a high note. It seemed destined for a place on the podium until a race incident prevented it from finishing the year with a flourish.
And yet the weekend didn't get off to a bad start. Kamui Kobayashi qualified in eighteenth place for race 1 and the team decided on an aggressive strategy, which enabled him to pick off his rivals one by one and finish in seventh place. This quickly became sixth when another driver was disqualified. Jerome d'Ambrosio was less fortunate on Saturday. He started from eleventh spot on the grid and was aiming for points until a collision led to his retirement early on.
Today, Kamui started from third on the grid for race 2 and he was aiming for the podium. Unfortunately, after the race was neutralized the first 6 drivers were penalized by Race Control for jumping the start when the green light was given. He had to observe a drive through, fell down the time sheets and saw the flag in nineteenth place. Jerome, who started from twenty-second on the grid, could not hope for very much as today's race was too short to enable him to gain a lot of positions barring major incidents: he finished tenth.
And so the curtain has fallen on the 2009 GP2 Series, the fifth in which DAMS has raced since its inauguration. The French squad finished sixth in the teams' championship, which was not a bad result overall, but did not reflect either its potential or its ambitions at the start of the season.
Eric Boullier, Team Manager: The final race was an apt reflection of our 2009 championship campaign: real potential, the possibility to fight at the front but a disappointing result due to unfavourable circumstances. It's frustrating as we thought we'd put our bad luck behind us. Jerome and Kamui have what it takes to shine in this championship, and I'd like to congratulate them both on their professionalism. They put the team first before their own personal interests. A big thanks to the whole race team as well as all those working in our Le Mans base. We'll be title contenders in 2010, I'm sure of that!"
Jerome d'Ambrosio: 11th on the grid for Race 1, rtd/22nd on the grid for
Race 2, 10th at the finish.
9th in the drivers' championship
"My position on the grid for race 1 wasn't fantastic but it gave me the possibility of scoring points and starting at the front today. Unfortunately, my hopes went up in smoke when I was hit early on in the race yesterday. But I'll have good memories of this season during which I've made a lot of progress in my approach to racing, my fitness and my driving. I'd like to thank DAMS and Gravity for helping me to show what I'm capable of this year."
Kamui Kobayashi: 18th on the grid for Race 1, 6th at the finish/3rd on
the grid for Race 2, 19th at the finish.
16th in the drivers' championship
"There's no way I can be satisfied with my final result as my aim, after winning the Asian GP2 title, was to win the championship in the main 2009 Series. Things just didn't go our way. I made a few mistakes and did not achieve my aim. It's a pity, but my motivation is still intact. I know my qualities and those of the team, which I'd like to thank very warmly for a new season together, and I'll do better next year."