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Jolyon Palmer and DAMS consolidate their positions
Old 12 May 2014 09:09
Category: GP2/GP3
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Building castles in Spain wasn't on DAMS' agenda! It had a successful weekend in Barcelona, and championship leader Jolyon Palmer will head for Monaco having opened up a 22-point gap over his pursuers thanks his two second places and a fastest lap in one of the races.

DAMS confirmed its very high level of performance as proved by the all-yellow front row on Saturday and second place in the teams' championship chase on Sunday evening, which looks like it will be a duel between the French squad and the Carlin Team. The only fly in the ointment was that Stéphane Richelmi was unable to take advantage of his superb pole position on Saturday after stalling on the grid during an aborted start procedure.

The Catalonian circuit really sorts out the teams in terms of their competitiveness, and Palmer proved that DAMS is among the front-runners by setting the fastest lap with Richelmi third. This was confirmed in qualifying when the French outfit locked out the front row (as in 2013), but this time it was Richelmi on pole in front of his English team-mate.

Although the Monegasque driver was hit by bad luck in the first heat, the overall performance of the Le Mans-based squad was very satisfactory. Palmer showed his combative qualities as well as his intelligence and his mastery by clinching two more top-3 finishes, which could prove very important in view of the title. Richelmi drove two good races showing his speed, determination and consistency.

Next stop is Monaco, which is a completely atypical circuit that demands fault-free qualifying. In the wake of their Barcelona performance the team will arrive in the Principality with high hopes.

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François Sicard, Managing Director: "The team again did a great job rewarded by the front row lockout. We feel a bit disappointed for Stéphane who was caught out by an aborted start procedure. Overall, it's been a good weekend. With four top-three finishes in four races Jolyon has showed that he's a serious title contender this year. Stéphane has confirmed his searing pace. We just hope that lady luck will come back and then he'll be battling for victory too."

Jolyon Palmer: "It's been another positive weekend for me and for the team, which again gave me a well-prepared car. Of course, I'd have preferred to win, but broken parts of the wing in the two heats caused tyre and brake wear. These two top-three finishes have helped me to open up a small gap and that's always a good thing - above all before Monaco where anything can happen. But with the way things are panning out I'll arrive there with my morale at an all-time high!"

Stéphane Richelmi: "Obviously I feel frustrated by the way the first race unfolded. I was perturbed by the first start, which was aborted at the last moment, and then the car stalled on the restart. But I'll remember the joy of my pole position in front of my team-mate, which was a reward for me as for the whole outfit. I was also able to push hard and drive two good heats, and that will give me a boost for my home race in two weeks."

Next round: Monaco, 24-25 May.

Photos: GP2 Series
Tags: 2014 gp2series dams

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