DAMS took part in free practice and qualifying yesterday for the 7th round of the 2008 GP2 Series Championship in Hungary held as curtain raisers to the F1 grand prix.
Kamui Kobayashi and Jérome d’Ambrosio were racing on the Mogyorod circuit, some 20 kms from Budapest, for the first time and finished the free session in 22nd and 8th positions respectively. The Japanese driver ran into gearbox problems in the morning, which explains his poor showing. The DAMS mechanics quickly found the root of the problem and repaired the car in time for qualifying.
This afternoon in qualifying both Jérôme and Kamui found the car handling exactly as it had in the morning session. As always they had to cope with traffic and yellow flags, among the most difficult challenges in the GP2 Series Championship. They ended up in 9th and 10th places; the team’s best result for several races, but this performance still left DAMS’s appetite unsatisfied. With a little more luck both drivers could have ended higher up the grid.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “Overall a pretty good result as both the DAMS cars haven’t been in the top half of the grid for a while. Without the traffic and the yellow flags and the small mistakes made here and there on the track, we could have gained a few positions. But we’re not too badly placed for the start tomorrow and both our drivers will be aiming for points.”
Jérôme d’Ambrosio8th in the free practice, 9th in qualifying and 9th on the grid
“I’m pretty happy with my day as I was among the front-runners right from the start. My place on the grid is in keeping with my performance in free practice, and that’s encouraging. Thanks to my position, I’ll be aiming for points tomorrow, and with a good strategy and an error-free race I should be able to get into the top eight. The circuit’s technical and there’s no time to relax. It’s going to be pretty hot too, but I’m not worried.”
Kamui Kobayashi 22nd in free practice, 10th in qualifying and 10th on the grid
“I’d have preferred to be a couple of rows further up the grid. After what happened in free practice this morning I can’t really complain. It’s my first time out on this circuit and my first session was hampered by mechanical problems. I’ve recently showed that I’m capable of fighting my way back up through the field, and I’ll do my best to put on a repeat performance tomorrow!”