The general rehearsal for DAMS turned out to positive despite the unpredictable weather
After the Motorland Aragon test session at the end of February was disrupted by the weather – the second day was cancelled because of snow! – the World Series by Renault teams were able to pursue their pre-season preparation in the south of France at Le Castellet over two days. DAMS’s main aim was find its marks with its new drivers, which it did with success after a couple of productive days’ work with Kevin Magnussen and Norman Nato.
Rain, though, was present during the test session and the conditions on the Paul Ricard circuit changed from wet mornings to dry afternoons. DAMS took full advantage of this to run through a whole raft of different setups, play in its drivers and assess the behavior of the tyres in these tricky circumstances.
The general rehearsal for DAMS turned out to positive despite the unpredictable weather, Magnussen being among the front-runners (4th-quickest on Saturday) and Nato, making good progress to end up ninth-fastest overall. The team gathered a lot of useful information in view of the 2013 season. The French squad still has a wide margin for improvement, and it quit Paul Ricard in an optimistic state of mind to tackle the coming championship.
François Sicard, DAMS general manager: “These two days have been very encouraging for the team. As the Motorland tests were cut short we had to go flat out at Paul Ricard and the team did a great job. Despite weather conditions that were pretty difficult to cope with, the drivers made good progress in getting to know the team and the car. Kevin Magnussen showed just how quick he is – we knew this already! – and Norman Nato really took full advantage of both days. We’re on the right road and DAMS will be among the front-runners in this year’s championship!”
Kevin Magnussen: “At Motorland Aragon my first contact with the team went off very well and the Paul Ricard tests helped our relationship to progress. We showed we were quick whatever the conditions but without really going for out-and-out performance at any price. We also tested several setup options, which helped us define the right direction to follow. Practising starts and pit work will be very useful for us in the coming season. Although we’ve still got work to do we’re moving in the right direction. I’m feeling confident before the first race and I’ll be among the victory contenders.”
Norman Nato: “You really feel the category change when you come from Formula Renault 2.0, although the team has helped me to get used to the Formula Renault 3.5. DAMS is a great outfit; it’s really professional, which doesn’t prevent the ambience from being very pleasant. We did a lot of work even though the conditions weren’t very easy. I learned a lot over the two past days, and we found the right direction to follow in terms of setups. I’m not very happy with my times but I know I can – and I will – improve. I’ll do my utmost to learn as quickly as possible to help DAMS in the battle for the teams’ title!”
- Next tests: Barcelona 19-20 March
- First race: Monza 6-7 April