Three constructive days for DAMS at Circuit de Catalunya

The overall results of the Spanish week were very beneficial for the team and its drivers.

GP2 followed in the footsteps of Formula 1 and continued its pre-season testing on the Montmelo circuit beside Barcelona after the first session at Jerez.

The similarities continued in terms of weather with two cold and rainy days while the third was bathed in sunshine.

It was hardly the ideal environment in which to find one's marks, but the DAMS team managed to take advantage of the situation by working in view of the coming season as a whole without chasing the stop watch.

Marcus Ericsson
Marcus Ericsson

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

This, though, didn't prevent the French squad's drivers from setting the second and fourth-fastest times of the 3 days.

The wet and very cool ambience reigning on the Catalonian circuit wrong-footed the drivers early on and they had problems finding good grip.

Thus, the team decided to modify its programme and test new options. DAMS knew that rain would obviously upset some races during the year so it ran through a raft of solutions in these conditions.

And in the end without really attempting to go for times it drew a lot of positive conclusions from the tests.

The sun put in an appearance on the final day and the team immediately confirmed its competitiveness by setting the second (Marcus Ericsson) and third (Stéphane Richelmi) times in the morning: they were only split in the late afternoon by former DAMS driver, Felipe Nasr.

In the afternoon the team concentrated on race simulations with hard and soft tyres. The overall results of the Spanish week were very beneficial for the team and its drivers who gathered crucially important information in view of the coming championship.

François Sicard, DAMS general manager: "We left Barcelona feeling pretty satisfied overall with our three days. The cohesion of the team and the close links between the drivers as well as those between the drivers and their engineers are already very good.

We decided to more or less turn our programme upside down because of the rain, and we've gathered useful information, which will become obvious later on in the season.

We've got the speed as proved by the times on the last day; the car's good and so are the drivers! We're can't wait to kick off the season in Malaysia in two weeks time."

Marcus Ericsson: "The season's got off to a great start with DAMS in Spain. The two weeks' tests have proved very productive. We've accumulated a lot of information; we've run in very different conditions, in sunshine and in rain, and we've done a great job preparing for the year ahead.

Everybody in the team made me feel at ease immediately and already I feel like I'm at home at DAMS! Stéphane and I both hit it off straight away; he's a nice guy and a very good driver. We're going to push each other and that'll be great for the team.

DAMS won the drivers' titles in the past two years so my role will be to continue the series. I'm ready. I've got the experience and the technical resources with this team to fight for the title: that's my aim. Stéphane and I will be well placed to defend the teams' title too."

Stéphane Richelmi: "By signing with DAMS I knew I was joined a well-structured and well-run team. The two weeks' tests confirmed this in the best possible manner.

At Jerez, we took advantage of the good weather to rack up a fair amount of kilometers and trial a certain number of solutions, most of which proved correct. I was able to set good times and this boosted my confidence and made my integration into the squad all the easier.

Engineers, mechanics, everybody, all create an ambience that is both professional and friendly. And in addition, I discovered a very pleasant – and very quick – team-mate! Marcus and I got on like a house on fire right from the word go.

He gave me advice and we shared all our information, so I'm feeling pretty confident about the coming season. I know I've got what it takes to fight for pole and top-three finishes and maybe even victory. In any case I'll give my very best to help DAMS retain its teams' title."

DAMS

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About this article
Series GP2
Article type Testing report
Tags barcelona, dams, ericsson, gp2, richelmi

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