Yesterday was the first official session in the history of the Dubai Autodrome so every team started the weekend without any experience of this track but also the specific conditions of any race track in the middle of the desert. At the end of the...
Yesterday was the first official session in the history of the Dubai Autodrome so every team started the weekend without any experience of this track but also the specific conditions of any race track in the middle of the desert. At the end of the session the 3 DAMS cars took 8th, 9th and 12th position.
Eric Boullier, Technical Director : "Nobody has got any data available on this track, after a few laps it was obvious that the setup would take quite long to find, especially because the track has no grip due to the sand on the ground."
In the Friday Morning free practice there was still some speed to find even though the with the leaders gap had reduced. Finally in Qualifying did the DAMS boys managed to get in the fight for the top positions. The learning process has evolved so fast that lap times between 1st free practice and second qualifying were improved by 7 seconds.
In the first qualifying session Neel Jani (2nd) dominated the session until the last minute when Van Lagen set the pole in his very last lap. Jose-Maria Lopez (4th) had under steering and could not do better than 4th position. Memo Rojas' (11th) car seemed to be difficult to drive, even if he was in the top 3 during the first half of the session he could not improve in the end.
Neel Jani (3rd) had traffic in the beginning of his second qualifying, when he managed to get a clear lap his time set was exactly the same than Van Lagen, but the Dutch driver set his time earlier in the session which pushed him above Neel. On the following lap Jani improved his first sector before he slide off the track and lost the benefit of his improvement. Jose-Maria Lopez (4th) set an impressive margin of 1.8 seconds over all other cars in the first half of the session, but he was not satisfied with the end of his qualifying session as the car seemed to be a little bit too difficult to drive and this prevented him from getting a real chance to go for pole position. Memo Rojas (11th) was happy with his car in the second qualifying, like in the morning he was in the top 3 in the beginning of the session. But he believes he kept a little safety margin in his quickest laps that cost him a good rank on the grid.