GP3 Series - News

Double-points finish for Ferrucci and DAMS in GP3 Series opener
Double-points finish for Ferrucci and DAMS in GP3 Series opener
Double-points finish for Ferrucci and DAMS in GP3 Series opener

15/05/2017 - Double-points finish for Ferrucci and DAMS in GP3 Series opener

DAMS and driver Santino Ferrucci showed great pace in the opening round of the 2017 GP3 Series in Barcelona to score two points finishes.

After a late charge in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Feature Race, the American driver seized ninth in the final corner on the last lap. Then a solid Sprint event saw him finish eighth.

Colombian racer Calderon showed good pace on Saturday to finish 14th, with young Brazilian Baptista improving throughout the weekend to come home 13th in the Sprint Race.

Free Practice & Qualifying

Under the sizzling Spanish sun, Ferrucci was 11th in practice but struggled for grip in qualifying and the Haas F1 Development Driver had to settle for 14th.

At the scene of her best qualifying result of 2016, Calderon wasn’t able to get a clean run in this time, with the Sauber F1 Development Driver going 17th quickest.

Taking part in his first GP3 Series weekend, Baptista focused on set-up for practice and went 14th fastest, before going 18th in qualifying.

Santino Ferrucci:I had difficulties with the set-up in practice and qualifying so was disappointed with 14th, but we were confident of making up ground in the races.

Tatiana Calderon:We struggled to find the pace in both free practice and qualifying. The conditions in the two sessions were very different, which made it more difficult.

Bruno Baptista:I improved throughout free practice and was pleased with the help I received from the team. The car felt good in qualifying, but I made a mistake and had to start from 18th.”

Feature & Sprint Race

Ferrucci dramatically snatched ninth place on the run to the finish line in the first race and could have been on the reverse-grid pole had he not been pushed off the track. A strong showing in the Sprint Race saw him come home in eighth.

Calderon climbed the order in the Feature Race to an eventual 14th position, just two seconds away from a points-paying position. However, the 2015-16 MRF Challenge runner-up was forced to retire in the Sprint Race after contact.

19-year-old Baptista produced a clean and faultless drive in both the Feature and Sprint Race, coming home in 16th and 13th.

Santino Ferrucci:I managed to fight through to ninth in race one, which could have been eighth, but I was forced off the track at the end. Race two wasn’t bad either and the mechanics did a great job. Now I’m looking forward to the test in Budapest.

Tatiana Calderon:Race one was quite positive and the team’s hard work through the night was really good. Unfortunately, someone crashed into me in race two and I had to retire, but we will analyse the data and come back stronger.

Bruno Baptista:Race one was quite fun, but I knew I needed to work on my overall pace for Sunday. The second race felt really good, I managed the tyres well and was much quicker. We just need to put it all together and we can fight for points throughout the year.

François Sicard, Managing Director: "Qualifying was disappointing for Santino, but in the first race he did a great job and was just one place off reverse-grid pole. In race two he scored points again, but we will look at the data to improve for the future. Tatiana struggled with the set-up in practice and qualifying, but was much happier in the races. The broken wishbone meant she unfortunately wasn’t able to score points in race two, but we will improve throughout the season. Bruno was happy with the car and had a good couple of races. There are a lot of promising signs and there will be good results to come this year."

DAMS will be back on track for testing at the Hungaroring, Hungary (6-7 June), before the GP3 Series heads to Spielberg, Austria (7-9 July) for round two.

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DAMS sign Ferrucci, Calderon and Baptista for assault on 2017 GP3 Series

28/02/2017 - 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."

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DAMS - GP3 Series, Round 9, Abu Dhabi

29/11/2016 - DAMS - GP3 Series, Round 9, Abu Dhabi

DAMS signs off rookie GP3 season with Abu Dhabi win

DAMS ended their maiden GP3 Series campaign with a stunning victory in Abu Dhabi, round nine of the 2016 season (November 25-27), as Jake Hughes battled back heroically from a pitlane start to claim the winner's trophy. 

British racer Hughes was forced to start race one from the pitlane after race control ruled on an unsafe release from the pits during qualifying, and sensationally carved through the field to finish seventh.
That result gave the BRDC Superstar a front-row start on the race two reversed grid, which became the lead at the first corner. The 22-year-old Briton built a commanding lead and deservedly took the second victory of his rookie season and also the second for Le Mans-based DAMS.

All three DAMS drivers performed impressively at the Yas Marina Circuit. Swiss rookie Kevin Joerg started eighth and ran strongly throughout to come home a career-best fourth.

The Renault Sport Academy driver added eighth place on Sunday, impressively holding off new champion Charles Leclerc to round off his best weekend of the season.

American Santino Ferrucci put in a career-best qualifying performance to line up sixth for race one. The Haas F1 Development Driver was in contention for a second podium of 2016 when he was penalised for an on-track incident with Leclerc, which dropped him to ninth.

After just missing out on the reverse-grid pole Ferrucci was then hit and suffered an unfortunate puncture, dropping him to the back of the field, before battling his way back through to 15th.

DAMS collected 36 points - their season-best total of 2016 - in Abu Dhabi, elevating the Le Mans-based outfit to fourth in the end-of-year teams' standings. Hughes' win helped him climb to eighth in the Drivers' Championship, with Ferrucci 12th and Joerg 14th.


DAMS will stay in the UAE as the GP3 Series hosts three end-of-season test days (November 30-December 2), for which drivers will be announced shortly.


Jake Hughes, P7/P1: "The weekend started out very promising, the car performed well on the hard tyres and Santino proved we were also quick on the super-softs. I felt really good going into qualifying and remained positive, despite the unfortunate happenings and I think that's what spurred me on for the rest of the weekend. Going from the pitlane to seventh in the Feature Race was amazing and it put me in a great position for the Sprint, where I was able to finish the season with a win. It's fantastic for everyone involved, the car felt awesome and I'd like to thank DAMS for this first GP3 season."

Kevin Joerg, P4/P8: "It was a good weekend to finish the season. Qualifying was positive; I managed to line up eighth for race one, which went really well. I gained a few places and felt I produced a clean drive without mistakes, so I was really happy with fourth - my best result in GP3 - and scoring a decent handful of points. On Sunday, I struggled at the start, but still managed to hold on to eighth and score another point."

Santino Ferrucci, P9/P15: "It was a great start to the weekend with fourth in practice then sixth in qualifying, and we did a good job with the car. In race one I was fighting for third, but then unfortunately had contact with Charles [Leclerc]. I think it was a racing incident, but the officials decided to penalise me, which put me ninth and just out of the reversed-grid positions for Sunday's race. I had a good start, but got hit in Turn 5 which gave me a puncture, so I had to come back from that. Overall the team did an excellent job this weekend and it's a nice way to end the year."

François Sicard, Managing Director: "The weekend started well, the cars were competitive with Santino sixth and Kevin eighth in qualifying. We're very sorry for what happened to Jake, he didn't deserve this. All the drivers performed very well in the first race and Santino's penalty was very harsh; ninth place was unjust. Kevin did a great job and of course it was superb for Jake to clinch seventh. Jake's Sprint Race win from start-to-finish is a nice reward for him and the team. Kevin had some good fights and defended very well and Santino showed good pace, but obviously the puncture ended his chances. We have been more consistent in the second half of this season and here we showed that we can challenge for wins, which is promising for 2017. Now we will focus on next year, starting off with the tests later this week."

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