DAMS concluded their 2017 GP3 Series campaign with a podium for Dan Ticktum at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The Red Bull junior driver scored two strong points finishes, with a fourth in the Feature Race, before a season-best third in the Sprint event, after fighting his way from fifth on the grid.
Brazilian Bruno Baptista secured his third points finish of the season, whilst Sauber F1 Development Driver Tatiana Calderon was unable to add to her tally.
Free Practice & Qualifying
Fresh back from his victory at the Macau Grand Prix, Ticktum was on the pace immediately, recording a fourth place in free practice, before repeating that feat in qualifying.
Baptista started his weekend with 16th place in the opening session, ahead of qualifying in 17th position for the Feature Race.
Colombian driver Calderon – who scored a podium in her World Series Formula V8 3.5 debut in Bahrain last weekend – was 20th in practice, before improving to 13th in qualifying.
Dan Ticktum: “I made a small mistake in qualifying that ultimately didn’t cost us that much, but second or third was definitely possible, which might have given us a slightly better chance at the start.“
Bruno Baptista: “In practice we worked towards the race, but I had some small problems in qualifying, and made a couple of mistakes, meaning we didn’t reach our potential.”
Tatiana Calderon: “Free practice was difficult only completing a few laps due to a braking problem, putting us on the back foot for qualifying. With no issues, a top six position looked possible which was positive.”
Feature and Sprint Races
Ticktum stormed home to a strong fourth place in the Feature Race, matching the leaders pace consistently. Starting fifth in the Sprint Race, the Englishman made two audacious overtaking moves on the back straight to claim his maiden series podium.
Starting from 17th in race one, Baptista made a good start, before coming home in a strong tenth position to gain a point. In Sunday’s race, the Brazilian improved from his grid-slot, but a penalty dropped him to eleventh from his seventh-place finish.
Contact in the first race forced Calderon to pit for a replacement front wing, before running at a pace on par with the leaders. In the Sprint Race, the Colombian made a slow getaway, but climbed back up to 15th position by the chequered flag.
Dan Ticktum: “I had to fight for position in the early stages of race one and then lost time under the virtual safety car, which I can put down to inexperience. In race two we should have been second, but the penalty cost us. Overall, the weekend was a good way to finish for DAMS, but we could have got more from it.”
Bruno Baptista: “I think the weekend went really well, I made some good overtakes in both races and the points finish was really great.”
Tatiana Calderon: “It was a frustrating weekend in which we showed really good pace. The team deserve better after doing a great job, so it’s unfortunate to end the season like this.”
François Sicard, Managing Director: “We finished the year strongly, despite the results. Ticktum fought for pole position until the last lap, but made a small mistake. He did a strong first race and could have been higher than fourth. Third in the Sprint despite the penalty is very good. Since joining, Dan has done a great job and we appreciate his hard work. Tatiana was unlucky, she was just two-tenths away from the top six without much running in qualifying. We have enjoyed working with her this year and wish her luck for the future. It was a shame that Bruno got a five-second penalty in the sprint race, but this was his best performance with us and it’s a nice way to go our separate ways.”