Davide Valsecchi tops the time sheets all three days!
DAMS continues where it left off in 2011
Continuing in the same vein after a season as brilliant as 2011 isn't always easy. However, after the first three days' official testing at Jerez, the DAMS team has proved that it is still the one to beat in the GP2 Series. Davide Valsecchi set the fastest time each day and Felipe Nasr made remarkable progress.
But the prime objective was not to chase the stopwatch. Rather it was to allow drivers and engineers to get to know one another and to get used to the team's working methods, so the overall result of the three days spent at Jerez is very satisfactory. Valsecchi used all his experience and his speed to take immediate advantage of the test while Nasr – who had never driven a car as powerful as a GP2 before – made very rapid and consistent progress. He finished the week only 6/10s behind his team-mate.
Jean-Paul Driot, president: "We used the three days' test at Jerez to put in place the right links between the engineers, drivers and the new DAMS general manager, François Sicard. The result? The fastest time by Davide Valsecchi every day - which is exceptional - and also Felipe Nasr's stunning progress. I'm sure he doesn't miss the Buzios beach after discovering Andalusia!"
François Sicard, general manager: "The whole team's very happy with the three days and we're delighted with the fastest time, which goes to prove the quality of the effort we've made. But we mustn't get carried away as we're only just beginning and far from running in race conditions. We're very pleased to see that the relationship between engineers and drivers gelled very quickly. We discovered interesting avenues of work to explore, found good setups very quickly, and we collected a large amount of useful data. I'd like to single out Felipe for his incredibly quick learning curve even though it was a whole new world for him."
Davide Valsecchi: "I'm feeling a little tired at the end of the week as we got through a lot of work. But I'm happy, the car's running really well and I'd like to thank the engineers with whom I get on like a house of fire! It's nice to see I set the quickest time, but it's not the most important thing. What'll count is our position in the race and we'll do everything possible to be in front."
Felipe Nasr: "I'm happy with the way I've improved. It was all new to me: the car, the power, the tyres, the brakes and the circuit. It's a big leap and as the days passed I began to understand the car and tyres better. I can't wait to drive in Barcelona as it's a track I know so I can get to grips with it much quicker."