Hockenheim: Andrea Caldarelli preview

Caldarelli sets sights on the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series Andrea Caldarelli is ready to make his debut in the first round of the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series, starting this weekend at the German Hockenheim racetrack. The driver from Pescara, part...

Caldarelli sets sights on the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series

Andrea Caldarelli is ready to make his debut in the first round of the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series, starting this weekend at the German Hockenheim racetrack. The driver from Pescara, part of the Toyota Driver Program, will drive a Mercedes-powered Dallara for French team SG Formula. After a long winter testing season, Caldarelli will challenge his former F.Renault rivals, like Valtteri Bottas, Roberto Mehri and Cesar Ramos, plus several seasoned veterans like Jules Bianchi, Stefano Coletti, Sam Bird and team-mate Henki Waldschmidt.

What are your expectations for 2009 ?

"I expect to grow during the whole season. I'm aware that my worst rival will be inexperience at the beginning, but I'm surely not gonna content. I try not to underestimate myself: the goal is to stay into the points zone at each race, with the hope to put my nose on the podium sometimes. I won't be throwing away the season because it's the first one and I have a lot to learn. I'll do my best to stay at the top."

Do you have a good relationship with your team and team- mates?

"It's my second season with SG, and I'm really getting along with eve- ryone. I know all the mechanics well, like the team's representative. I still have a place in the city where they have their headquarters. With Lancaster and Waldschmidt there's a good professional relationship too."

What's the main difference between a F.Renault Tatuus and a Formula 3 Dallara

"It's an huge difference. I haven't found the limit of my Dallara yet, but I'm definitely getting there. I'm currently in the process of discovering tricks and solutions. Technical variations are really limited on a single- make series like Formula Renault, while Formula 3 offers an absolute freedom. It's been shocking, there's a bunch of factors on which you can work to improve the car's performance, and that's what I'm doing."

The 2009 season starts at Hockenheim, do you know the track?

"Yes, thanks to the 2006 Italian Formula Renault Championship, that stopped there once. Luckily enough, because we'll have just a 90- minute session on Friday morning, a 1-hour session in late afternoon, and then qualifying, as early as 8 AM on Saturday. The first race will start at 11:00 AM, so contacts or technical issues can become really dangerous for the team, with just one hour of time to put a remedy."

Did you enjoy the three testing sessions held at Estoril, Valencia and Adria?

"All of them have been really useful: the season-ending ending on- track tests were finalized to get in touch with the new car, then I spent time in testing set-up solutions, gearboxes, dampers and so on. I tested several configurations, dropped some of them, kept others. It's great to work like that, chasing the best possible choice. It helps you to grow up quickly".

-credit: ac

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Stefano Coletti , Sam Bird , Jules Bianchi , Andrea Caldarelli , Valtteri Bottas