French motorsport brand DAMS, founded and owned by the Driot family, is sold to former Formula 1 driver Charles Pic.
Charles Pic becomes the new owner of the DAMS stable. He thus succeeds to the command of Gregory and Olivier Driotwho had themselves taken over the management of the team in 2019 following the death of their father and founder, Jean-Paul Driot. The news is surprising since the former owners had announced that they did not want to sell their stable. But, close to the Driot family, the ex-Formula 1 driver converted since 2015 into management, offered an offer they could not refuse. In addition to the financial aspect, it is the sports project and the ideas of Charles Pic that have seduced.
“The complicity between DAMS and the Pic family goes back more than 30 years. Charles-Pierre André, Charles’ grandfather, notably supported Éric Bernard, his godfather, and Olivier Panis when they were at DAMS. Arthur Pic, his younger brother, also drove for the Le Mans team in 2012 in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship. […] I am very happy to be able to write a new page of the DAMS adventure. Our two families have loved each other for a very long time. Jean-Paul knew my grandfather, who supported several DAMS riders in the past, including my godfather Éric Bernard and Olivier Panis. My passion for motor racing has not changed and this acquisition is a long-term project. I am convinced that DAMS can be successful on and off the track. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish with François, Rémi and all the team members. »
The Frenchman also expressed his wish not to change the name of the team for preserving the legacy of the Driot family. Like the drivers and staff who will also remain under the supervision of the General Manager of the team, Francois Sicardas confirmed by Olivier and Grégoire Driot:
“Even if we are sad to hand over, this decision is the best solution to ensure the future of the team and to develop it,” the Driot brothers said in a press release. Since the death of our father, we have always done our best to ensure that DAMS continues to perform well. The structure will nevertheless be able to be even more competitive with Charles and he will benefit from the commitment and loyalty of all the staff, most of whom have worked for the team for many years. We wish the best for DAMS whose history will continue to be written under the direction of Charles. We are confident that his intimate knowledge of the industry will enable the team to thrive. Our father would have been proud of this new chapter. When Charles contacted us, we quickly realized that this transmission of witness represented a great opportunity, not only for all the staff, but also for the history of the Driot family. It is an honor for us to hand over DAMS to another big name in French motorsport. ”
A French team with a historic past
Founded in 1988 by René Arnoux and Jean-Paul Driotthe stable Dams has had a successful history. Especially in Formula 2 or ex-GP2 Series with 3 drivers’ titles (Grosjean, Valsecchi, Palmer) and 3 constructors’ titles. Or in Formulas Ethe structure associated with Renault won the first 3 constructors’ titles with a drivers’ title at stake (Sébastien Buemi), as soon as the championship was created. His track record also extends to F3000 with, here again, 3 drivers’ titles (Comas, Panis, Bouillion).
Nevertheless, if the past of the DAMS team is glorious, today it is experiencing difficulties. Particularly in the Formula E championship, where his new association with the brand Nissan does not allow him to be crowned. This scenario also extends to the Formula 2where for two seasons now, the team has stagnated in 8th place among manufacturers.
The DAMS brand is still involved in both disciplines in 2022. In terms of electric formulas, Sebastien Buemi and Maximilian Gunther both have just scored their first points of the season at the Mexico Grand Prix. While for the F2the team is preparing to start the new season with Roy Nissany and Ayumu Iwasa at the wheel of their single-seaters.
Photo : Icon Sport
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