This weekend DAMS raced in the fifth round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the Nürburgring in Germany. The track that winds its way through the Eifel Mountains, lived up to its reputation with changing grip conditions throughout the weekend. Low temperatures, gusts of wind and rain made life very difficult for drivers and engineers.

Bringing the tyres up to their optimal operating temperature was a real challenge, which explains why the team had such a poor qualifying session on Friday. Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio started from far back on the grid for race 1, so they were faced with a very tough challenge. Nonetheless, they both had good drives. Kamui finished just outside the points in ninth place after a spectacular fight back up through the field, and Jérôme came home tenth just behind his team-mate.

This morning, the rain made a points finish a real possibility. Kamui never stopped pushing throughout the race and finished on the podium in third place. His team-mate was less fortunate, and after holding onto sixth he saw the flag in seventh spot just outside the points. These performances are a big encouragement for DAMS, and today’s podium has boosted everybody’s morale.

The next round will take place on the very tight Hungaroring in Hungary in two weeks’ time.

Eric Boullier, Team Manager: “We were very disappointed after Friday’s qualifying, but we knew that the Nürburging often enables teams to turn the situation in their favour. Kamui and Jérôme did the first part of the job by fighting their way up through the field yesterday. Starting from the front end of the grid today, a finish in the points was a distinct possibility, and Kamui didn’t let the opportunity pass. He finished on the podium, which is a great reward for the whole team. I feel sorry for Jérôme who saw the flag just outside the points, as he deserved to score this weekend.”

Kamui Kobayashi: 15th on the grid for race 1, 9th at the finish/9th on the grid for race 2, 3rd at the finish.
“If anyone had told me that I’d finish on the podium this weekend, I wouldn’t have believed them. However, I took full advantage of the tricky conditions in today’s race and stepped up onto the podium. I didn’t miss this opportunity, and I’m very happy with this result after a few difficult races. I hope it means that things have swung in my favour, and that the rest of the season will go off much better.”

Jérôme d’Ambrosio: 19th on the grid for race 1, 10th at the finish/10th on the grid for race 2, 7th at the finish
“I’ve got mixed feelings after this weekend. I didn’t score any points, which is a bit frustrating, as it penalises me in the championship. But our performance shows that without the yellow flag that ruined my qualifying session, I could have been among the front-runners. The speed and the potential are there; we just need a little more luck.”