Former F1 driver Charles Pic has reached an agreement to take over the DAMS team going forward from the Driot family.
Following the passing of founder Jean-Paul Driot, his sons Olivier and Gregory have looked after the team diligently. But going forward, the outfit will now be headed by their family friend and former F1 driver Pic, who agreed to take over the team.
It was Pic’s idea to take over DAMS after he approached Olivier and Gregory, with a long-term plan for the Le Mans-based squad. The former Marussia and Caterham F1 driver knows about the need of a strong base for youngsters to move onto bigger avenues.
DAMS adds that the driver line-up will remain the same as announced for the 2022 season with the team personnel also the same with Francois Sicard as the Managing Director and Remi Decorzent in the Chief Engineer role.
“Although it is with a heavy heart that we are handing over the team, this is the best way to ensure the DAMS legacy remains and expands,” said Olivier and Gregory. “After our father passed, we have always aimed to continue driving the team forwards. However, we know DAMS can excel even further under Charles, and especially with the passionate and loyal people who have been working with us for many years.
“We want the best for DAMS and Charles has a deep knowledge of motorsport. Under his watch the team’s legacy will continue and it will flourish. We feel our father would have been proud of this next step. When Charles approached us, we thought this was a great opportunity, not only for the staff, but also the legacy of the Driot family. It is a great honour for us to hand over DAMS to another great French motorsport name.”
At the same time, Pic stated: “I would like to thank Oliver and Grégory for this great opportunity to continue the DAMS story. Our families have been very close for a long time, as Jean-Paul knew my grandfather, who has supported DAMS drivers in the past like my godfather Éric Bernard and Olivier Panis, and he also helped me a lot during my career. This is a huge honour for me to continue Jean-Paul’s legacy in French motorsport.
“I am still very passionate about motorsport, and this is a long-term project. I look forward to working with Francois Sicard and Remi Decorzent, who will continue to manage the team on a daily basis and I have full trust in them. I hugely believe DAMS can be successful both on and off track and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve with Francois, Remi and the rest of the DAMS team members.”
And finally, Bruno Michel, FIA Formula 2 championship CEO added: “Today marks the end of a thirty-year-old era launched and made successful by Jean-Paul Driot. I am glad that Charles Pic is the one to take over DAMS. He shares the same passion for the sport that Jean-Paul had.
“When Charles was last in our paddock, he was a driver on his way to Formula 1. His desire to be involved in Formula 2 has been well thought out, and his project for DAMS is aligned with the team’s thirst for success. The team has been and remains a driving force on our Formula 2 grid, with a lot of success and a knowledgeable group of people working hard to get back to the top of the field.”
The release further added: “DAMS and the Pic family also share a strong relationship, stretching back almost three decades. Charles-Pierre Andre, Pic’s grandfather, supported the likes of former DAMS drivers Éric Bernard – Charles’ godfather – and Olivier Panis, in their careers, while his younger brother Arthur raced for the team in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2012.”