DAMS founder and owner Jean-Paul Driot dies aged 68
Jean-Paul Driot, the founder and owner of prolific junior motorsport operation DAMS, has died at the age of 68, the team has announced.
DAMS was founded in the late 1980s and emerged as a title-winning force in Formula 3000, the GP2 Series, and Formula E, in which it has run the Renault/Nissan team.
Current Formula 1 drivers Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr. were among those to have claimed junior single-seater titles with DAMS en route to the top tier of motorsport.
DAMS was also instrumental in the careers of several other youngsters, most recently Alexander Albon, with the team providing the cash-strapped Anglo-Thai a 2018 Formula 2 seat, which he used to secure a 2019 Toro Rosso drive.
In total 31 drivers to have raced for DAMS have gone on to compete in Formula 1.
DAMS, which has also competed in sportscars, currently leads the Formula 2 Teams’ Championship, with Williams reserve Nicholas Latifi and McLaren tester Sergio Sette Camara in the seats.
“It is with great sadness that Driot Associés Motor Sport (DAMS) announces its founder and owner, Jean-Paul Driot, passed away at the age of 68,” a team statement announced.
"Jean-Paul lost an ongoing battle with illness, which he had fought in recent months. We wish our sincerest condolences to his wife Geneviève and two sons Olivier and Gregory.
"Under Jean-Paul’s guidance, DAMS has won 13 drivers’ and 12 teams’ championships, including 147 races in Formula 3000, Formula Renault 3.5, GP3 Series, GP2 Series, Formula 2 and Formula E, since the team was created in 1988. Jean-Paul has also overseen the progression of many talented young drivers on their route to Formula 1.
"The entire DAMS team wishes to dedicate Nicholas Latifi’s win and Sergio Sette Camara’s podium in Hungary to Jean-Paul’s memory.”