ONIDI: "I WANT TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP TO RACE IN GP2 ASIA"
In 2008 he fought Nicolas Prost for the title until the last race, stopping only two points behind the frenchman. In this season he won immediately, in the series debut round in Portimao, and he is runner-up in the championship, four points behind the leader Marco Bonanomi.
So, Fabio Onidi is without doubt one of the stars of the 2009 Euroseries by PartyPoker championship for the second year in a row and, with three events done and other three to be contested, the moment has come to make an assessment about the season so far.
Did the first part of this season go as you expected?
"Well, I hold the second place in the championship and I'm very near to Bonanomi who's the leader, so I think that we must absolutely be positive. Anyway, looking at the start of the 2008 season, when I managed to climb immediately at the top of the classification and to stay there for a bunch of races, this year I was expecting something more. However, the level of the championship has raised: we contested six races and we ad six different winners, wich means that there's a great balance between us and that the challenge is even more hard".
You had a good start, with a win in Portugal, and than you cliniched two second places, in Magny-Cours and Zolder. Three podiums in six races is a satisfying average or not?
"No doubt that we can say that, also because there are some important things to remember. Don't forget that in this year I changed team, passing on to Fisichella Motorsport International, and this required an adaptation period, just to understand how to work with them in the best possible way. Besides that, also the new car is behaving in a different way, compared to the last year's one, so I had to work to find the feeling again. Now that this new `learning' phase has ended, I think that I can gain the winning momentum for the second part of the season".
You mentioned the 2009 car. In wich way the Lola B05/52 is different from the old one?
"As the driver's level has raised this year, also the car is raising the bar. With 100 bhp more it's more challenging for the driver, with a slight oversteer. It has more downforce wich makes it more stable in the fast sweepers but, in the meantime, makes it more `physical' to drive. But the important thing, to sum up everything, is that it's a lot faster than the old B02/50".
Let's look a bit at your past seasons. From 16 to 18 you raced abroad: it's an unusual choice for a young italian driver. Do you think that this experience has brought you some advantages?
"Well, I think that it allowed me to grow faster. I raced in the German Formula Bmw for two seasons, then in the F.Renault Uk for one season. There, despite the young age of the competitors, I had the occasion to face two highly organized environments both for what concerns the championship and the team's work. So, I was able to immediately learn what's needed to become a pro. Besides that I think that racing abroad is more difficult than doing that near home: you have to face a different language and lots of other troubles, and also this helped my growth".
Back to today: we'll have three races until the end of the season, Valencia, Vallelunga and Monza. What do you expert from this three tracks?
"I love Valencia and Vallelunga. The first one is a challenging racetrack where the driver can never relax. It's a very technical circuit, where you have to find the right pace through the corners sequences in order to achieve a good laptime. Then there is Vallelunga, a fast track that I appreciate a lot, while I never drove a racecar in Monza. I know that it's a bit odd, especially as I live in Milan, but the Euroseries 3000 races will be my first ones on the Italian circuit, and a fast and powerful car like our Lola isn't the best car for getting in touch with it. Anyway, I'm sure that Monza will host the final struggle for the title, so I will give everything and do my best".
You were the runner-up in 2008, so your only objective can be winning the title...
"Absolutely. Not only because it would be a great satisfaction and a vital achievement for my future racing careeer, but also because of the prize. Winning a full funded season in GP2 Asia would be very important in order to get in touch with the GP2 world and would allow me to drive a racecar for the whole winter, the best way to train for 2010".