DAMS and Jolyon Palmer still enjoy a solid lead in GP2

he German event had a touch of déjà vu about it as it was an almost exact replica of what happened at Silverstone where the weekend was also perturbed by the arrival of rain. This explains the sense of frustration felt at DAMS despite yet another good result: a top-3 finish, a pole position, a fastest lap and a solid lead in the drivers' and teams' classifications. Plamer didn't have a very good free practice with 12th place while Stéphane Richelmi set the sixth-quickest time. It was a different story for the English driver in qualifying as he put in a stunning lap right at the start to clinch pole, which helped him to save his tyres - very useful in the Hockenheim cauldron. His Monegasque team-mate had another difficult session setting the 11th-best time on the grid. The start of the long race again proved decisive. Despite making a good getaway Palmer was overtaken in the first corner by Stoffel Vandoorne, and he spent the rest of the race behind the Belgian as they both had the same pace. However, Mitch Evans snatched victory from the squabbling pair thanks to a daring tyre strategy and a safety car deployment just at the right moment. Richelmi, who took the same gamble, was just behind Evans for a long time until his tyres went off in the closing laps unlike those on the New Zealander's car. The driver from Monaco didn't have any better luck in race 2 as he was eliminated in the first corner. In the confusion caused by the shower before the start Palmer took the wise choice and put on wet weather tyres on the damp track with a change to slicks at half-distance. Stefano Coletti and Felipe Nasr had no option but to take risks and shod slicks at the start filling the first two places with the help of the safety car. However, Jolyon's tenacity and mastery helped him to score more precious points. The last round before the holidays will take place next weekend at the Hungaroring. The event will probably be run in stifling heat on a very twisty layout where overtaking is well nigh impossible. DAMS won there in 2011 and Palmer scored a stunning win on the same track in 2013 in front of the DAMS-entered car driven by Marcus Ericsson; thus the French team has every reason to be optimistic. François Sicard, Managing Director:" We're pretty pleased with this weekend and once again we were very quick. In six meetings this year Jolyon has never been lower than second in qualifying. Stéphane is much more competitive than his results in Germany indicate. This being said we have to improve our starts and our performance in the sprint races. We now have to make a big push for the final race before the summer break to give us a comfortable cushion." Jolyon Palmer: "For sure the starts aren't our strong point. It's very frustrating. We could have won on Saturday; there was very little in it. Evans has come from nowhere twice. We thought that his tyres would go off at the end of the race, but it didn't happen. On Sunday I wasn't in a position to take risks. So overall it's been a good weekend for the championship, and I hope that we will be on the topmost step of the podium in a week's time." Stéphane Richelmi: "Today's results aren't great. My race on Saturday was sunk by my little mistake in qualifying; I could certainly have started from the third row. On Sunday I was caught up in crash; I couldn't do anything about it. Despite everything I see that my level of performance is close to that of my team-mate, and I'm going to do my utmost to score a big haul of points next weekend" Next round: Hungaroring (Hungary) 26-27 July