DAMS began its 2008 GP2 Series Championship challenge on the Barcelona circuit in the context of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. Like all its rivals the team was using the brand-new GP2 single-seater, whose overall efficiency has been improved in relation to the previous generation, for the first time. A lot of work has been done on the aerodynamics, and the tyres are still slicks. This up-date enables the car to lap within around 5 seconds of the Formula 1s.
Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio had a 30-minute free practice session this morning before tackling qualifying in which they finished 13th and 22nd after running into a few glitches. The Belgian driver did not run in the morning session, and he was only able to begin his programme in the afternoon. His team-mate was penalised by several yellow flags and was never able to show his full potential during qualifying. A points finish looks on the cards in tomorrow’s long race, and that will be the team’s aim.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “We’ve got mixed feelings about today. Kamui could have ended up eighth on the grid but he was penalised by yellow flags and the traffic. Jérôme had a clutch problem this morning and could not take part in free practice. He did his best in qualifying, but paid a heavy price for his lack of running. Our aim is to finish in the points in tomorrow’s long race to get a good place on the grid for Sunday.”
Kamui Kobayashi11th in free practice in 1m 29.436s, 13th in qualifying in 1m 28.799s
“Qualifying was a bit difficult for me. I’d just put on new tyres when a driver went off. I didn’t pit again thinking that his car would be removed quickly, but it took five laps before the track was given the all clear. By then my tyres had lost their edge. I went for it again at the end of the session. I pushed too hard and I over-cooked my rear tyres, which were not all that quick in the final sector. It’s a pity. However, I’ll do my best to turn the tables and put on a good performance tomorrow.”
Jérôme d’AmbrosioNo time in free practice, 22nd in qualifying in 1m 29.628s
“It’s very important to run in free practice in GP2, and after my technical problem this morning it was obvious that qualifying was going to be difficult for me. The track lacked grip and I could only begin to work on my programme in the afternoon. We’ll try and fine-tune my set-up this evening to gain more speed for tomorrow. The race will be tough but I’m going to come out fighting!”