A1 TEAM GBR'S KATIE CLEMENTS LOOKS AHEAD TO BRANDS HATCH London, United Kingdom, Wednesday 30 April 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain's Team Principal Katie Clements looks ahead to the British squad's home race this weekend, the A1GP World Cup of ...
A1 TEAM GBR'S KATIE CLEMENTS LOOKS AHEAD TO BRANDS HATCH
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday 30 April 2008: - A1 Team Great Britain's Team Principal Katie Clements looks ahead to the British squad's home race this weekend, the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season finale at the Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent, UK.
Q: Katie, heading into the final round at Brands Hatch, how do you assess A1 Team GBR's season so far?
A: Well, having finished third in the first two seasons of A1GP, we had hoped to go one or two better this season, but for various reasons that has not happened. With two races left we're in fourth, but we will have an advantage at Brands Hatch with it being our home race, and we are fully intending to take that third-placed bronze medal again come prize-giving time. We're 12 points behind France with 32 available and we've got the car in safe hands with Robbie driving. He won there last year and he is so determined to go one better and try for the double race win. France is at a slight disadvantage with their driver Franck Montagny only driving for them for the first time at the last race. We have had a solid, stable team running for three years now and we have the experience and the talent to really go for it this weekend.
Q: And what about the actual performance of the team and the results?
A: The team has been fantastic, we have a very strong group who together all put 110% into this series and we all want to win. We had a new engineer at the start of the season but apart from that we have had a consistent group of staff over the last two seasons and that is one of our key strengths. We have had a few unforeseen problems this year which, for one reason or another, have affected us at certain races. However, with the exception of Shanghai, which was a very frustrating weekend for us, we have been confident in the knowledge that we have always had the pace to be on the podium in every race.
Q: Have you been pleased with the performances of Robbie Kerr and Oliver Jarvis?
A: This is the first time we have split the drives equally, with Robbie and Oliver each competing in five rounds each. They are both fantastic talents and each with their individual strengths and outstanding qualities. They have both been very good, but I do think we have a hard decision in the off-season as I believe it is better for the team to run one driver for consistency, which has been one of the few advantages I think other front-running teams have had over us this season to an extent.
Q: There has been some criticism from Team Ireland's boss Mark Gallagher, who said this week that he doesn't believe you're a top team anymore. How would you respond to that?
A: Well, obviously there's a bit of rivalry between GBR and Ireland and some mind games are possibly at play here ahead of what is effectively Ireland's home race as well as ours! But we prefer to target the teams ahead of us in the championship, and we do not focus on the ones behind us. All I will say is that the statistics speak for themselves and, in three years of A1GP, we have four wins and 24 podiums compared to Ireland's single win and four podiums, so I don't think Ireland are in a position to be critical.
Q: Looking ahead to next year, do you think you'll be going head-to-head with Ireland?
A: Next year is going to be a new challenge entirely and for every team it will be like starting over. We will have a brand new Ferrari, and the engineers and the drivers will all have to learn about the unique features of the new cars. Obviously there are some slick teams in operation in the A1GP paddock now and I firmly believe we are one of them, so I trust that our experienced and dedicated team will be able to adjust quickly to the new challenge. For now though, we are just concentrating all of our efforts on this coming weekend at Brands Hatch. Our wonderful fans will be out in force as usual, and we want to show them exactly what A1 Team GBR is capable of.