Following the Dubai round, DAMS and their driver Kamui Kobayashi made no mistakes in the third event of the season on 23rd-24th January on the Sakhir circuit. The Japanese confirmed his domination of the championship by winning the long race from his team-mate Jérôme d’Ambrosio, and then finished sixth in the short one.
The six weeks between the 2 events has changed nothing, except maybe to give DAMS’ rivals a few more sleepless nights over the rest of the championship! Not only has Kamui continued to tighten his stranglehold on the series, but his Belgian team-mate now seems to have got to grips with his car and has started racking up rostrum finishes.
Kobayashi was caught up in traffic in qualifying, and was in 3rd place on the grid for the first round behind Nico Hülkenberg and a brilliant d’Ambrosio. But it didn’t make any difference, and he soon showed who was boss winning hands down from his team-mate. In a fairly hectic race today he managed to grab a few additional points that helped him consolidate his title aspirations.
The other piece of good news for DAMS this weekend is Jérôme d’Ambrosio’s performance. On Friday, he came second in the long race, and today he showed his talent by fighting his way up through the field from 7th place to third, pulling off a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Hülkenberg on his way to his second rostrum finish on the trot. He leaves Bahrain in 4th place overall in the championship.
This weekend, the weather in Bahrain was very pleasant (20°C in the air and 25°C on the track), a big change from the rain-shortened Dubai meeting. DAMS have consolidated their lead in the teams’ classification and will tackle the next event in Qatar on 6th-7th February in a strong position.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “Obviously a fantastic weekend for the team! We couldn’t have done any better on Friday as we scored our first double of the year. Each of our drivers drove a perfect race. And today, with the reversed grid they were able to slice their way though the field to score points - and it wasn’t easy. Jérôme, in particular, had a great race. It’s all good news for the teams’ championship in which we’ve now got a big lead.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “It’s been a very positive weekend for me and for the team. I needed a big haul of points for the title and I succeeded. Friday was a trouble-free race but today was a bit more difficult in the traffic. I’ve now got a ten-point lead over the second-placed driver in the championship but the battle isn’t over yet. I’ll have to keep up the same rhythm.”
Jérôme d’Ambrosio: “These two rostrum finishes have given my confidence an enormous boost. On Friday, I fluffed my start and that put me too far behind Kamui to take the fight to him. In any case, the points were very important for the team. But I’m much happier with my race today; I pushed from start to finish and I pulled off a few great overtaking manoeuvres, which made my third place all the sweeter. I’m over the moon!”