DAMS sign Ferrucci, Calderon and Baptista for assault on 2017 GP3 Series
DAMS have selected a strong line-up for the 2017 GP3 Series, with Santino Ferrucci, Tatiana Calderon and rookie Bruno Baptista chosen to build on the French team’s impressive debut season and challenge for regular race wins.
Jean-Paul Driot’s squad confirmed their potential by claiming two victories, five podiums and one pole position during their maiden GP3 campaign, including a front-row lockout and a second place finish on their debut weekend in Barcelona.
With two of the three drivers in Formula 1 development roles, the Le Mans-based outfit boasts a high-quality line-up, as they target further success.
Continuing as Haas F1 Team development driver Ferrucci, 18, also returns to DAMS for his second season after a promising debut campaign.
The American proved his potential with an impressive podium at Spa-Francorchamps and had his first taste of F1 after testing for Haas in Silverstone last year.
Like Ferrucci, this will be Calderon’s second season in GP3. Now a Sauber F1 Team development driver, the Colombian showed great race pace last year and became the highest-scoring female in the GP3 Series’ history.
The 23-year-old finished as runner-up in the 2015-16 MRF Challenge, claiming several podiums including a race win, and placed inside the top 10 of last season’s Euroformula Open despite only taking part in selected rounds.
Meanwhile, Baptista steps up to the GP3 Series from Formula Renault 2.0, and, like Calderon, showed promising speed during the Abu Dhabi test with the team last year.
After graduating from karting, the 19-year-old Brazilian won the 2014 Formula 4 Sudamericana championship and, in 2016, was a consistent top-10 finisher in the highly competitive Toyota Racing Series.
Jean-Paul Driot: “2016 was our first year in GP3 and we achieved some very strong results, confirming our potential and improving throughout the season. We are delighted to have such a strong line-up this year. Santino showed incredible pace during his first season and we gained vital experience that will see us regularly fight for wins this year. We have known Tatiana for some time and followed her progress throughout 2016. She’s very focused and dedicated, so we are confident of achieving some good results together. Bruno will be the rookie in the team, this will be a good chance for him to learn from the team’s experience. He performed very well in the test and I’m sure he will be competitive from the start.”
Santino Ferrucci: “The aim for this year will be to consistently finish in the top five and to be challenging for race wins. The team worked extremely hard last year and to get those victories was a great accomplishment, so we have a good foundation to build on. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and giving my all for this fantastic team. I’m also delighted to be working with both Tatiana, who I know well from my time racing in America, and Bruno.”
Tatiana Calderon: “I’ve tested for DAMS on two occasions now and have always liked the way they work. They really care about drivers and make you feel comfortable, whilst pushing you to your absolute limit. DAMS run a very professional operation and it the perfect place for me to continue my motorsport career. My race pace from last year was good and to be finishing in the top ten at every race is the goal. “
Bruno Baptista: “My aim for this year is to show my potential and score a few podiums. There’s a winning mentality within the team and I’m feeling confident about the year ahead. DAMS are well known for their commitment and professionalism, which is what attracted me. I can’t wait to get going.”