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DAMS end 2017 F2 campaign with another podium in Abu Dhabi
DAMS end 2017 F2 campaign with another podium in Abu Dhabi
DAMS end 2017 F2 campaign with another podium in Abu Dhabi

27/11/2017 - DAMS end 2017 F2 campaign with another podium in Abu Dhabi

DAMS closed out the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship with their 19th podium of the season, in what was a mixed finale for the French team at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

Nicholas Latifi capped off a strong campaign with third in the Sprint Race, as fellow Renault Sport F1 Development Driver Oliver Rowland had his Feature Race victory stripped off him after a technical infringement.

DAMS finish the season third in the Teams’ Championship, with Rowland third and Latifi fifth in the final drivers’ standings.

 

Free Practice and Qualifying

After going sixth fastest in practice, DAMS opted to send Rowland out during the mid-session lull in qualifying, with the British driver slotting into fourth place.

Off the back of another podium in Jerez, Latifi had a quiet start to the F2 finale, going 15th in the morning session, before improving to 12th in qualifying.

Oliver Rowland“It was obvious that the pace was quite good on Friday, but I wasn’t able to put together the perfect lap in either session.”

Nicholas Latifi“We could’ve been around the top five in qualifying, but I made a mistake on my second set of tyres and lost a lot of time, which was always going to make it more difficult in the Feature Race.”

 

Feature and Sprint Races

Rowland stormed through to first after switching to the longer-lasting soft compound tyres in the opening race. He dominated thereon in to take victory, but was disqualified after the car’s skid plank as found to have excessive wear. The Yorkshireman produced an epic drive from the back of the grid to finish seventh in the Sprint Race.

Latifi also showed strong pace on the soft compound tyres later in the Feature Race, as he fought through to finish seventh - which turned into fifth after penalties were applied. The Canadian impressed during the Sprint event, as he scored his ninth podium of the season with third.

Oliver Rowland“Overall, it was actually a really positive weekend. Obviously the penalty in the first race was difficult to take, but it was great to fight my way through the pack in the Sprint and show our pace. I want to thank François [Sicard] and everyone at DAMS for an amazing season.”

Nicholas Latifi“I struggled with tyre management earlier in the Feature Race, but in the end we came on stronger. I had a really good start on Sunday and wanted to get the win for the team after Saturday’s disappointment, but we didn’t quite have the pace. Still, it’s great to finish the season with another podium.”

François Sicard, Managing Director“It wasn’t the last round we were expecting. It’s a shame as everyone performed well and this small issue cost us the teams’ title. Nicholas had a very strong weekend and we are very pleased with his performance. The fact that 143 points separate DAMS and fourth in the championship, shows the level of the top three teams and it’s been a great battle all season. Preparations for the 2018 season begin at the test on Thursday, so that’s what we’re focusing on to give us the best chance of challenging for next year’s titles.”

 

DAMS will remain at the Yas Marina Circuit to participate in the official post-season FIA Formula 2 test (30 November – 2 December).

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DAMS make it 18 Formula 2 podiums at Jerez
DAMS make it 18 Formula 2 podiums at Jerez
DAMS make it 18 Formula 2 podiums at Jerez

09/10/2017 - DAMS make it 18 Formula 2 podiums at Jerez

DAMS closed on the lead of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Teams’ Championship after adding another trio of top-three finishes to their impressive season tally at Jerez, Spain.

Oliver Rowland and Nicholas Latifi, both Renault Sport F1 Development Drivers, demonstrated strong pace all weekend, taking the French squad’s podium total to 18 for the year.

Rowland remains second in the drivers’ standings, with Latifi fifth. DAMS are now second in the Teams’ Championship, just two points off the top.

 

Practice and Qualifying 

Rowland was quickly on the pace in Spain, going second in practice and qualifying in fourth.

Latifi also showed promising speed in practice with the fifth fastest time, before qualifying in ninth for the Feature Race.

Oliver Rowland: “I felt we could have been on the front row here, but I was unable to put together my best lap. We showed good pace in the long runs though so I was confident for the races.”

Nicholas Latifi: “Qualifying wasn’t ideal, I made a mistake on my fast lap and started a lot further back than I expected to. This opened the door for us to try a different strategy to the guys ahead of us, which we knew could work well.” 

 

Feature and Sprint Races       

Rowland climbed to second before the pit stops in the Feature Race and showed strong pace on the medium compound tyres. After a tense four-way fight in the closing stages, Rowland battled hard to finish second. The Brit then fought to third from seventh on the grid in the sprint.

Opting to start on the medium tyres for the Feature Race, Latifi led the alternate strategy runners. After stopping for softs, the Canadian scythed his way through to finish fourth. Another strong Sprint Race saw him storm from fifth to second after excellent tyre management.

Oliver Rowland: “In both races we were fighting for the win. I was just a couple of tenths away on Saturday, but couldn’t quite do it. It’s a positive weekend overall and we’re expecting to be at the front in Abu Dhabi. It’s another high-degradation track, which we tend to go well at, so I’m optimistic.”

Nicholas Latifi: “With the safety car coming out in race one we could’ve fought for the win, were it not for back markers getting in the way. I had a good start in race two and unfortunately we just didn’t have the speed to get the victory. I’m still happy with the podium and the points haul is great for the team.”

François Sicard, Managing Director: “Both drivers did an excellent job this weekend and have really given us a good shot at the title. No other team has more podiums than we do now this season and the win in both races was just out of reach. It will be a very tense finale in Abu Dhabi, there’s only a few points in the Teams’ Championship so we will be fighting harder than ever for the best result possible.”

 

The 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship finale takes place at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi (24-26 November).

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DAMS score 15th podium of season at Monza
DAMS score 15th podium of season at Monza
DAMS score 15th podium of season at Monza

04/09/2017 - DAMS score 15th podium of season at Monza

DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi flew to another FIA Formula 2 podium in a chaotic Feature Race at Monza, Italy (1-3 September).

Latifi’s third-place finish keeps DAMS right in the hunt for the Teams’ Championship as fellow Renault Sport F1 Development Driver Oliver Rowland suffered bad luck whilst fighting for victory in Saturday’s wet Feature Race.

DAMS lie third in the teams’ standings, just 11 points off the top, with Rowland second in the Drivers’ Championship and Latifi fifth.

Free Practice and Qualifying

After going 13th-fastest in free practice, Latifi struggled for pace in the red flag-affected qualifying session and started was 14th.

Rowland ended free practice in sixth place, but was confident of improving for qualifying. However, the incident-packed session meant he was unable to produce a clean lap and the BRDC SuperStar wound up 13th.

Nicholas Latifi:We started on the back foot in practice and I didn’t get a great feeling for the car. I put all my best sectors together in qualifying, but we just didn’t have the pace here.

Oliver Rowland:Practice wasn’t ideal, but we knew there was time to be found. I didn’t manage to get a good lap in qualifying and struggled with the balance.

Feature and Sprint Races

Rowland made an incredible start in the wet Feature Race to climb to sixth within a lap. A succession of blistering laps brought him to third place, but he suffered an unfortunate retirement as his left-rear wheel fell off on the exit of the second chicane after his pitstop. Starting 19th in the Sprint event, the Briton battled to 11th at the finish.

Latifi also made good ground in the late-starting Feature Race, climbing up to seventh before the pitstops. Keeping his nose clean in a chaotic final two laps, the Canadian climbed to third place in the final results. He started well on Sunday, but fell to 16th with tyre wear.

Nicholas Latifi:I made sure not to have contact in the Feature Race, which is important in those conditions and it was great to score some big points. I thought I could fight for the win on Sunday, but really struggled with the tyres for the first time this year.

Oliver Rowland:The Feature Race was going very well, I set fastest lap times and was catching the leaders before losing the wheel. The Sprint Race was difficult, but we made progress and weren’t too far away from the points.

François Sicard, Managing Director:We struggled in qualifying and knew we should have been higher up. Both drivers did a fantastic job in the Feature Race. Latifi was consistently very quick and pulled off some great overtakes, whilst Rowland was extremely unlucky after a superb performance. We had a faulty left-rear wheel nut on Rowland’s car - the mechanic was not to blame. We lacked some pace in the Sprint Race, but nevertheless Rowland did a good job and his nearest title rival also missed out on points this weekend, so the championship is still open.

 

Round ten of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship will take place at Jerez, Spain (6-8 October).

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