GP2 Series veteran DAMS has confirmed that it will carry Renault F1's eye-catching yellow-and-black colour scheme in this year's feeder championship, having been invited to form part of the grand prix team's revised driver development programme.
Jean-Paul Driot's squad, which has won titles in both F3000 and GP2
- most recently with new Sauber F1 recruit Kamui Kobayashi - will run the two confirmed Renault F1 reserves, Ho-Pin Tung and Jérôme d'Ambrosio, while third driver Jan Charouz will race in the World Series by Renault after returning to single-seaters from sportscars. The two DAMS cars will both run in the historically-significant yellow-and-black livery revealed by Renault in Valencia on Sunday.
“I'm very proud that DAMS is now running in the mythic Renault F1 colours," Driot commented, "For the last 21 years, DAMS has won in many branches of the sport, and my aim in 2010 is to honour this partnership with many victories in the GP2
Series. Our new management structure and the recruitment of new engineers should help us achieve very good performances.”
In order to stack the odds in its favour, DAMS has made several notable additions to its staff, including the arrival of Loïc David as general manager and Yannick Hubert as track engineer.
On the driver front, d'Ambrosio returns to the fold, having raced for the past two years in DAMS colours. The 25-year old Belgian has made the most of his Gravity Sports Management links to join the Renault F1 Driver Programme having previously won the International Formula Master title in 2007.
“After two seasons in GP2, I feel I'm ready to fight for the title in 2010 - that's my aim," he claimed, "I know the team and its working methods like the back of my hand and I also know the circuits we'll be racing on this year. In addition, driving a black and yellow car will be something very special and I'm determined to defend these colours in the way they deserve.”
Tung, like his team-mate, is also a member of the Genii-owned Gravity stable and brings not only experience of racing in GP2, A1GP
and Superleague Formula, but also F1 testing knowledge acquired while running with both Williams and Renault in recent seasons.
“I'm very happy to make my return to a formula which places the greatest demands on driver skills," the 26-year old Dutch-Chinese driver noted, "I feel I'm ready to take up this challenge and show that the team has made the right choice by selecting me. I'm delighted to join the prestigious DAMS squad and I hope I'll be able to add more victories to its laurels this season.”
Gravity Sport Management also took the opportunity of the Renault launch to unveil the full extent of its motorsport involvement. Headed by d'Ambrosio and Tung, the company's 'squad' also includes GP2's Christian Vietoris, F3
drivers Alexander Sims and Jim Pla, and FBMW Europe recruits Javier Tarancon and Petri Suvanto. Additionally, Adrian Tambay, Marco Wittmann, kart racer Estéban Ocon and bike racer Luca Grünwald will all come under the umbrella to race in, as yet, undefined categories.