GP2

Asia: Meritus gears up with F1 trainers

KUALA LUMPUR (JAN 20, 2010): In line with its long term development plans, Meritus-GP has hired four Formula 1 technicians and engineers to train and develop its Malaysian technical staff. Meritus' new chief technician was head of Honda's now ...

KUALA LUMPUR (JAN 20, 2010): In line with its long term development plans, Meritus-GP has hired four Formula 1 technicians and engineers to train and develop its Malaysian technical staff.

Meritus' new chief technician was head of Honda's now disbanded F1 test team, His No.1 and No. 2 followed while a former Ferrari and Toro Rosso gearbox specialists is now on board the Malaysian team.

Their primary function is to develop the team's engineering resources and train its experienced Malaysian technicians from Formula BMW. The quartet will also work on the team's GP2 Asia Series crew as MalaysiaQIMeritusMaharaGP.com has stated it hopes to win the team championship this year.

MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP has also hired a new Technical Director in Sean Thompson, who has since taken on the additional role of Team Principal for GP2 Asia.

That decision paid off in the opening round at the Yas Island Marina circuit in November when Luca Filippi gave the team its best ever result when he finished second in the main race. The second round will take place at the same venue from Feb 4-6.

Meritus Managing Director Firhat Mokhzani said while the results of the opening round were encouraging, it was still not good enough as Filippi had the pace to win.

"We had a good package but the results were not forthcoming in the first two seasons. Our aim is to win, so we have opted for a fresher group of experienced and motivated engineers, Luca proved his pace and we set the test pace over two days to bring home eight points," said Firhat.

"Sean was the obvious choice to head the team as he had many GP2 successes with Durango and Super Nova. He in turn, has brought in very experienced staff to support him and when you consider that the first event was the first time that all these 12 strangers worked together it was not a bad result, but there are no more excuses and our focus is and always was to win races."

Filippi, who was leading the race after a faultless 5.2 second pit stop and tyre change, suffered tyre degradation on an overly grippy new track, mainly on one corner. Earlier, Filippi had a gearbox failure with a broken 3rd gear during the qualifying session.

Fortunately, the grarbox failure happened after he set the fourth fastest time lap which put him on the second row of the grid for race one, which was the team's best qualifying position to date.

"The crew worked hard and prepared well and our pit stop was one of the best. We proved that we had the race pace and we were able to give Luca a car to win and had we had the tyre and track wear information earlier, a small adjustment would have prevented the over-wear."

"The engineering management changes have move us on to the podium but we were very unhappy with our P2 and many questions were asked about our lost pace. I except that we did not have the benefits of the over wear on the tyres which was the reason why we lost what was going to be our first win. I have stressed to the engineers and driver that we need to dig deep and be one step ahead for the next event," added Firhat.

After Abu Dhabi, the season will continue from Feb 25-27 at Sakhir circuit, Bahrain and the last stop is planned for March 12-14 at the Bahrain international circuit at Sakhir where the GP2 Asia Series will support the Bahrain F1 race.

-source: meritus racing

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Luca Filippi
Teams Toro Rosso