Qualifying : Edging closer to the front
The DAMS team had its best qualifying session yesterday on the Sakhir circuit since the start of the Asian GP2 Series Championship. Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio qualified in 5th and 7th places for tomorrow’s race. Opening its score in Malaysia 2 weeks ago gave the team’s confidence a huge boost, and it is looking forward to adding to its points total this weekend.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “Overall a good day for DAMS. We were on the pace right from the start of free practice, and we improved our performance thanks to a few tweaks on our set-ups. The times are very close at the front of the grid, and we managed to make the most of the situation. But you only score points at the end of the race; we won’t be happy unless we add a few more to our tally!”
Kamui KobayashiFree practice: 6th in 1m 44.639sQualifying: 5th in 1m 43.277s
“I’m both happy and frustrated. Overall, my fifth time is a good effort but I could have got onto the front row if I’d been a few thousands of a second quicker. We’re on an upward trend at the moment, and I think we’re becoming more competitive race after race. I’m feeling pretty confident ahead of the weekend’s first event.”
Jérôme d’AmbrosioFree practice: 10th in 1m 44.773sQualifying: 7th in 1m 43.670s
“I’m satisfied with the session and my lap in the closing minutes. It’s my best qualifying performance this season. My aim will be to get as close as possible to the podium and not make any mistakes tomorrow. We’ve had no technical problems with the car since the start of the weekend, and we were able to make steady progress on each run. I’m pretty optimistic for the races, and hope to able to capitalise on my encouraging results in Malaysia.”
Jean-Paul Driot, team principal: “I’m very happy with today’s results, which look promising for our rookies. Kamui just failed to bag the 2nd-quickest time by a few thousands of a second in a very competitive session. Jérôme’s confidence is improving by leaps and bounds and he now fits into the team perfectly. DAMS is really beginning to gel, which bodes well for the start of the main GP2 season in Barcelona in 3 weeks’ time.