Magny-Cours, qualifying: yellow flags, traffic and flying gravel!
DAMS competed in free practice and qualifying for the fourth round of the 2008 GP2 Series Championship yesterday on the Magny-Cours circuit. Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Kamui Kobayashi made maximum use of the 30-minute free session in the morning to fine-tune their set-up. They finished in 12th and 13th positions.
Qualifying could have gone better for the two drivers who had to fight their way through traffic and watch out for yellow flags on a very demanding track. Kamui and Jérôme set the 7th and 13th times. Unfortunately, the Japanese was summoned before the Stewards in the late afternoon, and was given a 5-place penalty for not slowing down enough under the yellow flags, and will start from 12th spot. The team hopes to convert these positions into a top-8 finish tomorrow and why not pole for Sunday’s short race.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “We’ve got mixed feelings this evening. Our two drivers will start tomorrow’s race in the top half of the grid but we could have done better, and we’re a bit disappointed with our performance today. Kamui was handicapped by traffic when he was going for pole, and then he was penalised by the Stewards. Jérôme pushed a little too hard on his final flyer and went off in Estoril. Despite this, we’re adopting a positive approach as our set-up’s working well and we’re on the pace. We hope we can show this tomorrow by bringing both cars home in the points.”
Jérôme d’Ambrosio12th in free practice, 13th in qualifying
“It’s frustrating not being higher up the grid and not being able to capitalise on our excellent performances in the last test session on the Paul Ricard circuit. The car’s handling well and my aim will be to move up as many places as possible tomorrow to get a good spot on the grid for Sunday’s race.”
Kamui Kobayashi13th in free practice, 12th in qualifying
“My starting position’s disappointing; it could have been so much better! I was slowed by several yellow flags and baulked by slower cars in my best lap. Then I was handed a penalty that pushed me back five places on the grid. While I find this decision a rather severe one, I respect it. We’ve got to put this setback behind us and concentrate on tomorrow’s race. A rostrum finish is well within our grasp. “