To say Monsieur Driot was just a racing team owner would be the understatement of the century. With alumnus including Érik Comas, Allan McNish, Olivier Panis, Jean-Christophe Boullion, Sébastien Bourdais, Kazuki Nakajima, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer and Pierre Gasly, his DAMS (Driot Associés Motor Sport) org produced the highest levels of motorsport and drivers. If you’ve followed the GP2 / F2 feeder series for Formula 1 in any regard, the DAMS name would surely be familiar to you.
1991. Phoenix, Arizona. The United States Grand Prix. It would be the first and last time I would personally see Ayrton Senna blaze by in the McLaren-Honda livery that started my fascination with Formula 1. Taking the pole and the win, it seemed business as usual for the Brazilian driver.
Exactly 15 years ago at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Senna would go straight on at Tamburello and eventually die from his injuries later that day. Racing fans around the world were shocked and mourned the loss of probably the greatest racing driver of all time. Three F1 driver’s titles, numerous records for poles, wins and fastest laps. Any car, any where… he made it go faster. His 2 second gap over Alain Prost during qualifying at the 1988 Monaco GP is just one example of the sheer speed and brilliance this man possessed.