GP2

Asia: Qi-Meritus.Mahara interview with Luca Filippi

A few weeks ahead of the start of the new GP2 Asia series season, a conversation with driver Luca Filippi Q: Luca Filippi When was last time that you drove a racing car? LF: I was lucky enough to drive the Honda F1 succcessivly in Barcelona...

A few weeks ahead of the start of the new GP2 Asia series season, a conversation with driver Luca Filippi

Q: Luca Filippi When was last time that you drove a racing car?

LF: I was lucky enough to drive the Honda F1 succcessivly in Barcelona and Jerez in Nov and Dec 2007. It was a fantastic experience with Honda. Having two days in an F1 car at the end of my GP2 season is just the best you can get. And a superbe experience to get closed to a very professional team where everyone was so dedicated. A great moment.

Q: Have you seen your next car yet?

LF: No, not yet, but I am very curious. I know that the livery will be very nice. As in 2006 and 2007 I drove GP2 series with FMS, BCN and then 2007 Super Nova International, I know what to expect. However, I am really excited to go to the Dubai tests and race. It will be the first time for me to meet Peter Thompson. Team Principal Gianfranco Bielli organized for us to agree to race together. I tested a lot in the past under his responsibility. He knows me well and he advised Peter Thompson to use my experience for the team. But I know that Peter had heard a lot about me through his brother Shawn Thompson who was my engineer 2005-2007. So my reputation was easy to justify to Peter even if I have not met him physically yet. We will soon make up!

Q: Will you be ready for the start of the season?

LF: Quite ready. I just finished a high level fitness training course in order to be completely fit and one of the exercise and was the control and training of my bio-rythms. I should be fit and fne.

Q: What do you think about the technical regulations the racing rules?

LF: I like the existing format that I discovered in GP2. I like the two races system and the reversed grid. It is good for the show and the spectators. But not only that, the drivers have lots of fun about it. Overall the races become a fantastic show as the car remains very difficult to drive and control. It is fun for a driver. It is difficult to get the right feeling to control the car from one end of the race to the other end.

Q: What attracted you to GP2 Asia series?

LF: Certainly the team Principal Gianfranco Bielli. And also the established and strong reputation of Meritus Team throughout Asia. I see the potential to fight for the championship title. Together we can built a great team and do a very good job during the season Can't wait to the start.

Q: How did you spend the off-season?

LF: My last race was in October 2007. Then I attended the GP2 tests. Then the Honda F1 test in November and December. To be honest, I have not stopped a lot and it was non-stop all the time. I even traveled to Cuba for a short week's vacation. It was good to relax with my friends, swim a lot and practice tough and great quality wind-surf.

Q: Do you know the layout of the track for the first race?

LF: During the tests we will have the opportunity to prepare for the first race. We will give our maximum right away, especially because there is not a lot of testing time before qualifying. I am used to this type of racing because in Gp2 it is usual to have to be strong after 30 minutes Malaysia, Sentul and Bahrain will make the difference. We will need to show our strength right away. I know Bahrain circuit well. I like it. I won there race 1 from pole and in the second race I was on the podium! A good souvenir.

Q: How do you prepare for a race?

LF: I do my stretching exercices before the start. I try to have a routine to concentrate and focus. It is a procedure to get completely in the race and not loose momentum

Q: When looking at the calendar, what GP2 Asia circuits WILL you enjoy racing at the most?

LF: I am very curious about Malaysia. For sure it is a high level of technicity. After Dubai the tracks where we will race will have more grip. I imagine that the most difficult will be in Malaysia, not only because of the track but also with the weather conditions.

Q: What kind of impact do you think that GP2 Asia series will make on motorsport fans around the world?

LF: The public should be interested as the fans in the countries where we compete are very passionated and highly interested by racing. I remember the warmth attitude and contact of the fans in Bahrain. They had a great attitude to us. In Indonesia, the public will have a real passion too.

Q: Your best quality?

LF: I can learn quickly

Q: Your best racing quality?

LF: I learn quickly and I can adapt and analyse.

Q: What you hate to do most?

LF: Mathematics.

Q: Color?

LF: I don't know--The colors of the Italian flag

Q: Who is your manager?

LF: My father Pierfelice who comes at all races. He is always the first person I call after a race if he is not present. I also have a sister who lives in Roma and my mother Liliana rarely attends races but follows everything. Possibly my best fan.

-credit: qi-meritus.mahara

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Series GP2
Drivers Luca Filippi