Dams ready to defend its titles
DAMS is very pleased with the brilliant F1 debut of Kevin Magnussen, its 2013 FR 3.5 champion. However the French team is now looking forward to the new season with Norman Nato and Carlos Sainz Jr. It has just concluded the two pre-season test sessions (Motorland Aragon 25-27 February and Jerez 24-26 March), and is very satisfied with the overall result.
DAMS isn’t the kind of team to rest on its laurels even though it clinched the drivers’ and teams’ titles last year. The whole technical team set itself fresh challenges during these tests, and used the six days to run through the different setup options, check the overall level of performance, speed in race conditions, pit stop training for drivers and mechanics, completed start tests and began working on development. In other words, a very hectic work schedule which bore fruit as Norman Nato and Carlos Sainz Jr were always among the ten quickest drivers throughout the sessions. Sainz is now the new record-holder at Motorland Aragon (1m 38.34sec) since the second day’s testing. Another very positive point is that the two drivers set very similar times, which augurs well for close results for the team.
But it’ll be necessary to fight tooth and nail as the overall level of competition among the 22 cars is very similar with only 1.7sec separating the fastest time from the slowest (22nd) at Jerez. And a mere one-hundredth of a second decided the quickest lap. Whether from drivers back for their second year in FR 3.5 like Sirotkin, Stevens and Fantin, or debutants like Gasly and Rowland the dangers DAMS faces will come from all sides. However, the team didn’t luck in on the 2013 titles and Norman and Carlos both have considerable experience despite their youth. This will be a big help when it comes to deciding the outcome at the end of of the 2014 championship.
The season will kick off at Monza, the temple of speed, a big challenge as a opening round with its long straights, low drag setup, slipstreaming, etc. The data gathered at Motorland Aragon will come in useful when DAMS tackles this challenge in the defence of its titles.
François Sicard, Managing Director: “We’ve already put our fantastic 2013 season behind us and used these preliminary test sessions to refocus on our aims. The tests went off very well and they reassured us about our level of performance in qualifying simulations and race conditions. Norman and Carlos are already used to working with us and they’ve done a great job preparing for the coming season. After these tests we know that they form a well-matched complementary line-up, which bodes well for the teams’ championship. We’ll be up against very tough opposition, but we’re still as determined as ever and we feel ready to defend our titles.”
First round: 12-13 April at Monza (with the Blancpain Endurance Series).