In 2011 and 2012 DAMS
bagged two consecutive drivers' titles in GP2 with Romain Grosjean
and Davide Valsecchi
plus the cherry on the cake, the teams' crown in 2012 giving the French squad the status of leader in the GP2 Series. To continue this wave of success DAMS has put its trust in a couple of well-balanced, evenly-matched drivers combining talent, experience and youth - Marcus Ericsson
from Sweden and Stéphane Richelmi from Monaco.
Marcus Ericsson was born on 2nd September 1990 in Kumla (a district of Örebro, Sweden) and he soon made people sit up and take notice in kart racing. In 2007 in his first season in Formula BMW
Great Britain he won the championship; he then moved up the British F3 Championship (5th in 2008) after which he won the Japanese F3 title the following year. His next step up the ladder was GP2 and in 2012 he has had his best season in the championship so far finishing eighth with one victory and five podium finishes. He had a very good test session with DAMS at Jerez in November (fastest time on the first day), which convinced the team and the Swedish driver to combine their forces in 2013.
Marcus's partner will be another driver who has fought at the front in GP2 this year, Stéphane Richelmi. The 22-year-old Monegasque (born 17th March 1990 in Monte Carlo) is the younger son of Jean-Pierre Richelmi (former French Gravel Rally Champion), and is already an old hand in single-seater racing. A bit like his father who was a talented all rounder in motor sport, Stéphane made his debut in the Belgian Formula Renault
1.6 Championship in 2006. He then raced in the Formula Renault 2.0, British F3, Italian F3 (runner-up in 2010) and Formula Renault 3.5 Championships before tackling GP2 this season. He seemed to be much more at home in this branch of the sport demonstrating his progress with a podium finish in Germany, and above all during the Jerez tests with the DAMS squad at the end of November when he set the second-fastest time on the last day.
Jean-Paul Driot, CEO: "We've been GP2 champions for the last two years and we're hungry for more titles! We had to recruit drivers capable of keeping us at this level and that's why I'm delighted that Marcus and Stéphane have signed with us for 2013. Both have experience in GP2 and they're bringing us a perfect combination of maturity and fieriness. I'm convinced that we're going to enjoy another great season in GP2 with them."
Marcus Ericsson: "I'm extremely proud to get the opportunity to drive for the DAMS team. Their results over the last couple of years say it all. After testing successfully together in the Jerez post-season tests, there were no doubts as to where I wanted to be in 2013. The preparations for next year have already started and I feel ready to fight at the front of the championship together with DAMS."
Stéphane Richelmi: "Of course, I'm very happy and very proud to be a part of the DAMS family! After a fairly difficult 2012 season I was determined to have a good winter test session to join a top team and improve in 2013. Thus, I drove for Lotus
GP for one day, then with Trident
, and finally with DAMS. I soon chose the reigning teams' title holder. The way the engineers work really impressed me; the team's level of professionalism is faultless and the very pleasant ambience makes you feel at home straight away. I hope to fight at the front next year while helping DAMS to clinch another teams' title."