After a 2011 season crowned with success with Romain Grosjean's title, the DAMS team will race in the non-championship GP2 final in Abu Dhabi on 12-13 November with two new drivers. The French team has decided to put its trust in Rio Haryanto and Nigel Melker, a couple of young chargers from GP3 for these two races whose only stakes are glory and preparation for the 2012 season.
Young 18-year-old Rio Haryanto has already packed a lot of experience into his short career - 2011 is his fourth season in motor sport! He took part in the GP3, and AutoGP (with DAMS), Championships finishing seventh in both. Twenty-year-old Dutchman Nigel Melker ended his second season in GP3 in third place (with a victory and five podium finishes), and came fourth in the F3 Euro Series. They have been selected by the reigning GP2 champion team, and in Abu Dhabi they will have the opportunity to show their ability to move up to another level.
Loïc David, general manager: "We're delighted to welcome a couple of new talented drivers from GP3 for the 2011 GP2 final in Abu Dhabi. After our successful season that ended with the conquest of the drivers' title, we're determined to play a leading role thanks to these promising youngsters who both put on good performances during the end-of-season tests."
Rio Haryanto: "I can't wait to compete in my first GP2 event. I'm sure that the experience will help me for the 2012 season. I'm also very grateful to Pertamina for its unwavering support which has helped me to continue at the topmost level."
Nigel Melker: "First of all, I am honoured to drive in the 2011 championship-winning car. I would like to thank the team for this opportunity and the chance they have given me. I am really thrilled to race at the Formula One event in Abu Dhabi. This is a good opportunity for me as a rookie to get to know the team and to obtain more experience in this challenging series. Last month, I obtained very positive results during the GP2 test days. Besides this, I am happy to be competitive again in 2011 as I am aiming for a good result."