Following a successful debut season in the championship, DAMS have selected a strong line-up for the 2017 GP3 Series.
American Santino Ferrucci will remain with the team with Tatiana Calderon making the switch to DAMS from Arden International, they will be joined by rookie Bruno Baptista.
Jean-Paul Driot‘s Le Mans based squad confirmed their potential by claiming two victories, five podiums and one pole position during their maiden GP3 campaign which included a front-row lockout and a second place finish at the opening round.
“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,” commented Driot
“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.”
Two of the three drivers are currently in Formula 1 roles with Ferrucci remaining Haas F1 development driver and Calderon having just been announced as taking over the role at Sauber F1 Team.
The American proved his potential with an impressive podium finish at Spa-Francorchamps last year and had his first taste of F1 after testing for Haas at Silverstone.
“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.”
In her debut GP3 season, Calderon become the highest-scoring female in the category’s history.
In addition, the Colombian 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.
“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. “
Baptista is set to step up to GP3 from Formula Renault 2.0. 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.
“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.”