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DAMS are hopeful that they can move up the grid next time out at the Red Bull Ring after a difficult opening round of the season in which Dan Ticktum picked up his first Formula 2 podium.

The Ruaudin based team who went into Austria as defending team champions had a difficult weekend with Sean Gelael having a terrible first round of the season with the Indonesian veteran retiring from both races.

Geleal, however, highlighted an issue that was out of the team’s control for his awful weekend.

“It was a frustrating weekend for me and the team. We’ve shown good pace since testing and unfortunately, we had this problem from the end of Free Practice. I believe the car is competitive, Dan showed this as well as fighting for the podium, but I’m just disappointed we couldn’t deliver the result. The team is working well, we tried everything but this issue seems to be out of our control. Hopefully next weekend we’ll have both cars running in the points.”

There was some joy for DAMS who salvaged a podium thanks to Ticktum’s superb defending against Robert Shwartzman in the final laps of the sprint race to hold onto third place behind Charouz’s Louis Deletraz.

Ticktum left the first round happy with himself after what had been a tough twelve months for the former Red Bull junior driver.

“This was a very strong weekend. The real positive is I still have a lot left in myself. The pace. In the Sprint Race there wasn’t a lot of degradation and the multiple safety car periods let everyone cool down, maybe if it was a more normal race the guys ahead would have struggled. But still, this was a good start for us, we just need to keep our philosophy and we should be even better next week with the softer tyres.” 

DAMS’ team manager Francois Sicard was happy with his pair of charges as his team will take Monday off to regroup and investigate with F2 on what caused Gelael’s woes.

“We’re delighted to be back racing again, the whole team was a bit like lions in a cage eager to get going. Unfortunately, Sean’s weekend was ruined by technical issues. We changed the majority of the parts on Saturday night but we still could not find the problem. F2 is working closely with us to find a solution, which we are grateful for. But Sean’s attitude has been remarkable, he’s been very supportive and I hope we will be able to show his ability soon. The big positive of the weekend is Dan’s podium, he drove two very mature races, especially as he is a rookie and stopped racing in the middle of last year. We have a day off on Monday and then we will begin preparations for the second round where we will try to come back stronger.”

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