DAMS Lucas Oil Team Principal Yannick Hubert is confident that they can start fighting at the front as soon as they solve their Qualifying issues.

The French outfit made a solid start to the year with Jak Crawford finishing second in the Sakhir Sprint Race and fourth in the Jeddah Feature a week later.

But in the three rounds that have followed – in Melbourne, Imola, and Monte Carlo – they have struggled for pace, particularly in Qualifying where neither Crawford nor Juan Manuel Correa have qualified inside the top 10.

READ MORE: Correa pleased to deliver deserved P5 for DAMS Lucas Oil in Monte Carlo

However, their performances in race trim have been much better as they have come through the field to score points in each of the last three Feature Races – including last time out in Monaco where Correa finished in P5.

This means DAMS head to Round 6 in Barcelona eighth in the Teams’ Standings with 46 points, but Hubert believes that total should be a lot higher.

“Well, to be fair we haven't scored the points we should have clearly,” acknowledged Hubert. “We've shown some very good performances in the races, but we are too up and down in Quali.

“For example, in Melbourne we were basically last, and Jak was off the track while JM did not do the last lap of the Quali, the lap which counted, because everybody improved, so at the end it's a bit annoying.

Crawford scored a podium in the first race of the year in Sakhir for DAMS
Crawford scored a podium in the first race of the year in Sakhir for DAMS

“We are here to prepare the drivers for the next level, our aim is to prepare drivers for F1 the best we can.

“This comes from two things, how to manage the car and to understand how it works but also to perform enough to be in the top five every year and today we are not because we have made too many mistakes as a team.”

Hubert was speaking after the in-season test in Barcelona and ahead of Rounds 4 and 5 in Imola and Monte Carlo. He says the team used those three days of running in April to work on their negatives, in particular that lack of performance in Qualifying.

READ MORE: How Jak Crawford has used the break to strengthen his F2 charge in 2024

But as both race weekends showed, DAMS have good race pace, with Crawford and Correa coming through from P21 and P20 in Imola to finish in P7 and P8.

Similarly in Monaco, Correa went from 13th to P5 around the narrow street circuit. Hubert says that once their Qualifying issues are addressed, fighting at the front of the field is “clearly” possible.

“We showed that we are strong in race pace again in Barcelona, and it was the case in Melbourne, we were fastest there,” he explained.

Hubert is confident that DAMS can fight at the front once they solve their Qualifying issues
Hubert is confident that DAMS can fight at the front once they solve their Qualifying issues

“So, clearly, we have a good trend in terms of race performance, both of our drivers are capable of having very good races, unfortunately when you start from so far behind it's difficult to score points.”

Crawford and Correa represent an all-new line-up for DAMS this year and Hubert explained why they chose to put the duo in their cars and what he expects from them this year.

READ MORE: Would You Rather with Juan Manuel Correa

“So, with JM, the project is very interesting because he is experienced, and he brings a lot to the team,” said Hubert. “His feedback is invaluable and it's always interesting to get what he feels in the car, to adapt a bit.

“With Jak, obviously he is much younger, 18-years old, that's also why we decided to go with him in 2024. He showed some strong things last year arriving very young and he proved in a short amount of time his talent.

“So, he is a talent that, with work, we can achieve good things together and we think he can be top five easily in 2024.”