In the second round of the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series in the streets of Monaco, a curtain-raiser to the F1 Grand Prix, Lady Luck didn’t smile on DAMS as Arthur Pic’s eleventh place was the team’s only result. But there’s reason for optimism. Arthur’s weekend was upset by two incidents that impeded his progress. His free practice session was ruined when his engine stalled after an off-course excursion. In qualifying, the yellow flag was hung out at the worst possible moment just when he was on the point of improving his time by over a second! So he started from seventeenth on the grid.
It was Lucas Foresti’s first outing on the Monaco circuit and he did a competent job setting good times in both free practice and qualifying.
Pic’s jinx continued in the race. He was stuck behind a slower car for a long time and lost too much ground to the front-runners. Once he got past he fought his way back but it was too late. Foresti was involved in a collision on lap 2 and had to come in to have the nose of his car replaced.
Despite these frustrating results the team showed its competitiveness with a quick car as proved by Pic’s third-fastest lap in the race. DAMS is now concentrating on its next objective, the meeting in Belgium next weekend.
Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: “The frustration engendered by this scoreless result shouldn’t sap the team’s morale. The car’s quick and everybody’s working in the right direction. Monaco’s such a particular circuit that it doesn’t resemble any other. I know that the team and the drivers will bounce back at Spa-Francorchamps, next weekend.”
Arthur Pic: “It all became very complicated after my problems in free practice. As I’d had little track time qualifying was very tricky, and I was on my way to seventh or eighth place on the grid when the yellow flag came out. In the race itself I was quick but I couldn’t get past the car in front of me. When I had a free track I set the third-quickest lap, a few hundredths off the best time. I’d like to thank the team for the great job they did and I’m determined to score a better result at Spa.”
Lucas Foresti: “Monaco’s a very difficult circuit and we’ve got very little time to learn it. Even so I made quick progress and I’d like to thank the team for its help and the way it prepared my car. Unfortunately, my race was soon compromised by a collision on the second lap. I hope that we’ll finally have a bit more success next weekend.”
Next race at Spa-Francorchamps on 2-3 June.