Jerome d'Ambrosio proved to be the big winner from the latest round of the GP2 Asia Series after claiming a pair of podiums in Bahrain.
Although the Belgian has been largely overshadowed by championship leading DAMS team-mate Kamui Kobayashi so far this season, d'Ambrosio proved he remains an outside bet for the title after adding 12 points to his points tally this weekend.
Following Kobayashi home in second place during the feature race, despite losing several seconds at the start following a poor getaway, d'Ambrosio out raced the Japanese driver in the sprint event, overtaking him as he charged his way up from eighth to an eventual third place.
Marking a big step forward for the inaugural International Formula Master Champion, d'Ambrosio, was delighted with his performance in the sprint race, particularly when he overtook Nico Hulkenberg for third on the final lap.
“Today was a great race,” he said. “I had a difficult start and I lost a position. I managed to stay quite cool and relaxed. I pushed all the way through and every time I saw an opportunity to overtake, I would just go for it. Inside, outside, whichever way that worked! I believed until the end that I could catch Nico and I did it. So I was quite happy.”
Up to fourth in the standings, albeit 18 points adrift of Kobayashi, d'Ambrosio admits he doesn't want to think about the title, despite having the edge on his rival this weekend.
“This week was a big step for me. After the winter break, to come back and be the best performer of the race weekend… I've worked hard to approach the weekend differently than I used to do. It worked much better and now I've improved and I have to keep that momentum.
“I don't want to focus on the championship now or talk about it. We're only half way through. There's still a lot of work to do. I take race after race and if I continue like that, for sure I will be able to fight for the championship. We'll add the points after the last race here in Bahrain.”