DAMS victorious in Abu Dhabi to seal 2019 F2 teams’ championship and dedicate title to Jean-Paul Driot
Sergio Sette Camara took the final Feature Race win of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 season from pole position under the floodlights in Abu Dhabi, sealing the teams’ championship for DAMS which the French squad has dedicated to its late founder Jean-Paul Driot. Formula 1-bound Nicholas Latifi led a double podium finish for the Le Mans-based outfit in the Sprint Race.
Sergio Sette Camara: “We were fastest in free practice and qualifying, and we had a good car for Saturday so I took my first Feature Race win. We progressed well from eighth on Sunday too, coming through the field to take a podium so it’s been a really strong weekend. I’m very happy with the teams’ title and I almost challenged Luca Ghiotto and Nicky for a higher position in the drivers’ championship but it just was not enough.”
Nicholas Latifi: “Coming into this weekend we had two big objectives: take the teams’ title and secure my vice champion position in the drivers’ standings so we’re extremely happy to do both. I got unlucky in qualifying with a yellow flag during my final lap, so we should have been higher up, but I was happy with my performance in the Feature Race. Sergio had priority for the pit stop because he was ahead so I lost some time and seventh was the best I could manage having come through the field. I hoped for a clean Sprint Race and I did just that to take second. This marks the end of my time in F2, and with DAMS after four years. Nothing could make me happier than playing a part in rewarding them with the teams’ championship in my final season. I wish Jean-Paul was here to see it and celebrate with us all. This one is for him and all the guys, they deserve it.”
François Sicard, DAMS Managing Director: “It’s been an extraordinary end to the season for the entire team. We had a great weekend, finishing 1-2 in practice and Sergio confirmed his pace in qualifying with an incredible pole. It was a magnificent Feature Race victory for him, fending off the drivers on the alternate strategy. Unfortunately, we had to stack our two drivers in the pit stop to avoid Nicky losing more time doing another lap with the high tyre wear, costing him 11 seconds. He did fantastically to finish seventh which put him on the front row for the Sprint Race. Both drove a strong race to claim another double podium for the team.
“It was clearly our objective to win the teams’ title, especially with the passing of Jean-Paul in the summer, and there is no better way to salute his memory than by sealing it in style with a victory. Many thanks to both drivers, finishing second and fourth in the drivers’ standings. They and the team did a fantastic job.
“A special word for Nicky, we raced together for the last time after four years together so this is very emotional. He’s been an exceptionally hard worker and we brought a lot to each other. He always believed in us and his vice champion status is thoroughly deserved. We wish him the best for the future, I am sure he will bring a lot to Williams in F1 next year.”