DAMS boss François Sicard says he’s filled with “energy and expectation,” as he looks to get the French team back on top in 2021 after a difficult year last season.
Winning the the teams’ championship in 2019, DAMS suffered somewhat of a fall from grace in 2020, dropping down to eighth place. Still managing to take five podiums and a win, it wasn’t all bad for Sicard’s side, but a struggle for consistency left them unable to put any form of title bid together.
Looking to stop the slump, Sicard has signed up Marcus Armstrong and Roy Nissany for the 2021 campaign and he feels that the pair got off to a good start in pre-season testing, putting in nearly 400 laps between them.
“We have been very happy with both drivers so far,” said Sicard. “Roy has been very focused, and he has done a great job so far. He did a long run on the final day and we were very happy with how he performed then in particular. Marcus as well, it has been good to have him in the garage with us and he has been working hard so far. I think that we’ve got a good line-up this year.
“I enjoy the pre-season tests because they’re a type of rehearsal where we can test out the things that we have studied and worked on over the winter break to see if they work. At the moment, we’re happy with the direction we are heading in and the work that we have achieved. It is really encouraging; everybody is working hard, and I am optimistic.”
DAMS have finished in the top three of the Teams’ Championship in three out of four seasons since the formation of Formula 2 in 2017, playing a key role in the careers of Formula 1 graduates Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon.
It’s for this reason that Sicard is confident in the experience of his team and their ability to turn things around. The Frenchman says his staff have already mixed well with F1 academy pairing Armstrong and Nissany, who arrive with backing from the Ferrari and Williams’ driver programmes.
“Both of our drivers have been really focused and they have been working well with our engineers and the rest of our staff,” he continued. “Ultimately, we will not know the hierarchy until qualifying, but we think that we’ve done pretty well.
“I trust my team and I am feeling pretty confident. We know that the competition will be tight once again, but we have been working really hard to put everything together. With the new format, we have to be smart with how we work, but I have been encouraged by what I have seen so far. Let’s see where we are after Round 1.”