The DAMS team left Silverstone slightly disappointed about their GP2 Series weekend after failing to secure the victory they wanted. However a second place in the Feature race and a fourth in the Sprint race for Jolyon Palmer meant the Briton extended his lead in the championship, while Stephane Richelmi took points in both races in eighth and sixth respectively.
After pole man Raffaele Marciello retired from the Feature race, Palmer inherited the lead, but a slow out lap saw him fall behind the Russian Time driver Mitch Evans, and the New Zealander was able to hold off the challenge of the Briton and then gradually pulled away. In the Sprint race, Palmer was able to overtake Julian Leal and Richelmi to take fourth, but could not go past Johnny Cecotto Jr for the final podium spot.
“I’m really very angry with myself about the feature race,” said Palmer. “I didn’t push hard enough after my pit stop and Evans got out in front of me. I’m really sorry for the team who did a great job. Even if our main rivals finished behind us I wanted that win, especially as it was at Silverstone.
“I’m gutted not to win, because I really thought that was in the bag. But I’m pleased, with DAMS we did a good job, maybe we should have won the race but in the end I’m happy with second.
“I’ll go to Hockenheim determined to take revenge”
Team-mate Richelmi had his best lap from qualifying deleted after exceeding track limits, and he was forced to start from eighth, a position he would eventually finish in. The resulting pole position for the Sprint race meant the Monegasque driver had a chance of a good result, but a bad start meant he fell down the order, and after losing another place to his team-mate he could only finish sixth.
“It wasn’t a great weekend in terms of points even if it was better than in Austria,” said Richelmi. “It’s really a shame that my qualifying time was cancelled as I reckoned I was just within the limits. On Saturday for the race it was necessary to start in the left-hand line in the dry. I suffered wheelspin and lost a lot of time. On Sunday I had another problem starting. This being said the positive thing is that the car’s quick and we’ll prove it in Germany.”
Managing Director Francois Sicard admits the team were hoping for better results at Silverstone than they managed, but feels the level of performance was at a high level that should ensure positive results for both drivers when GP2 arrives at Hockenheim in Germany.
“We were reassured by our cars’ performance after Austria,” said Sicard. “Overall, it’s been a fairly satisfactory weekend but we could have hoped for better. There’s no doubt that Jolyon should have won the race on Saturday. He made a great comeback on Sunday and he’s still got a comfortable lead in the drivers’ classification. Stéphane wasn’t very lucky in qualifying and that certainly cost him a better result. However, our overall level of performance promises good results in Germany.”