Alfonso de Orleans - Borbon Q&A Alfonso de Orleans - Borbon, president of Racing Engineering, awaits the start of the 2010 GP2 season with both titles as a targets. Ahead of the final pre-season tests, having kept Dani Clos for a second year and...
Alfonso de Orleans - Borbon Q&A
Alfonso de Orleans - Borbon, president of Racing Engineering, awaits the start of the 2010 GP2 season with both titles as a targets. Ahead of the final pre-season tests, having kept Dani Clos for a second year and with the addition of the promising young German driver Christian Vietoris, Racing Engineering is working very hard in getting prepared for a season in which they will be one of the teams of reference.
Before taking a look at the upcoming GP2 season, let's have a quick glance at last year. Lucas Di Grassi, Racing Engineering's driver in 2009, has graduated to F1. What do you think are his chances for this year?
Well, he is an amazing driver, so no doubt that with a good car, he will be able to get great results. Said that, I have to admit that he is with a new team and they are having many of the problems new teams are facing. Sadly, he has not finished a race so far this season, but that is mainly due to hydraulic problems. Once that is solved, I think he will be able to finally work on making the car quicker.
Dani Clos continues with Racing Engineering in 2010, whilst Christian Vietoris makes his GP2 debut with the Spanish team. What has influenced the choice of drivers for 2010?
With Dani it was easy. We always knew that he is an excellent driver and after a difficult learning year, he is ready to battle for the championship. So it's his year. As for Christian, he is one of the most talented young drivers out there and we think he is also a championship contender. Although I think he will have a lot to learn since GP2 is very different to F3.
What can you tell us about the people in your team, other than the drivers?
There is Ines Koschutnig, our General Manager. She is great at keeping everything running along side Thomas Couyotopoulo, our Team Manager. His job is to make sure all the technical and logistical aspects work like clockwork. As for the engineering side, Andrew Ferguson is our Chief Engineer. Along with Nick Wasyliw, and data engineers Charles and Seb, they make up the engineering department. There are many more people working here, but the man who makes sure the cars are always working is David. You can discover everyone in the team by visiting our web site: http://www.racing-engineering.com.
Many see Dani and Christian as a very strong line up. What are your expectations from the Racing Engineering drivers this season?
I expect that both can win the championship, especially Dani. As for Christian, I think we will see surprises from him. But I don't want to give too much away. Lets wait and see. That said, we have possibly the strongest driver line up for this season.
For the 2010 season, there will generally be a number of experienced drivers on the grid of the GP2 races. Who do you think will be your main rivals this year?
I think the main rival will be Maldonado or Bianchi. They are both extremely quick and Maldonado is the most experienced driver in the field.
The first of two pre-season tests took place last week. What insights has the team gained during those days?
Quite a bit, but I am not going to tell you what they are since you will see where we stand at the first race.
What are the objectives for the test in Barcelona next week, keeping in mind that is the track where the season will start in only a few weeks' time?
Continue our work from Paul Ricard and make sure the drivers know how to take advantage of every aspect of their car and the team. We are in full season mode now. There is no turning back. We all know exactly what we have to do and will do it to the best of our ability.
Barcelona and Valencia will be two important races for a Spanish team, but are there any other specific races you would like to win this year?
Monaco and Spa would be great since they are such special tracks, although we feel quite comfortable at all tracks. So we aim to win at as many of them as possible if everything goes as planned.
Talk to us about your targets for the forthcoming 2010 season.
Aiming for the driver and team championships. But then again, every driver and team has the same goal. I think it's realistic for us to aim for it this season.
-source: racing engineering