Mixed fortunes for DAMS

GP2 Istanbul, Qualifying:Yesterday, DAMS took part in free practice and qualifying for the second round of the 2008 GP2 Championship on the Istanbul circuit in Turkey.

Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio used the morning session to learn the track and set up their cars posting the 10th and 16th times respectively. Qualifying looked promising but Lady Luck did not smile on the team. Kamui spun at the start of the session while Jérôme had to lift on due to yellow flags when he looked on target for the 6th quickest time overall.

Jérôme and Kamui will start from 11th and 22nd positions tomorrow; a rather frustrating result but the team’s morale is good. DAMS’s 8 points gives it in 6th place in the teams’ classification while Kamui is lying 4th in the drivers’ rating, only 3 points behind the leader.

Eric Boullier, team manager: “We’re all a bit disappointed this evening as Kamui was aiming for the top six in qualifying and unfortunately his off dashed his hopes. Jérôme was on the pace at the end of the session and his opening sector times on his final flying lap indicated that he was on track for sixth place. An accident brought out the yellow flags and he had to lift off. It’ll be difficult to get onto the rostrum tomorrow but our aim is the same as in Barcelona two weeks ago: score points in the long race and get a good place on the grid for the short event.”

Kamui Kobayashi10th in free practice, 22nd in qualifying

“I don’t understand what happened; I used the same line; I arrived at the same speed; I braked in the same way as in free practice as I came into the first corner; I lost control of the car and I spun. The engine didn’t stall and I tried to get going again. It was impossible and I had to give up. I’m disappointed, but it’s possible to pass here and I hope I can carve my way up through the field into the points tomorrow.”

Jérôme d’Ambrosio16th in free practice, 11th in qualifying

“I’m fairly satisfied even though it would have been possible to move up several positions if my lap hadn’t been interrupted. The circuit’s really great and corner no.8 is very hard on the arms! I’m just three places outside the points so I can aim for the first eight tomorrow, and that’s what I’ll do.”