STOP OVER AT SEPANG F1 TEST DRIVER PROMISES PODIUM FINISHES SEPANG (Feb 10, 2008): Malaysia's team Qi-Meritus.Mahara's Luca Filippi has vowed to deliver podium finishes in the remaining legs of the inaugural GP2 Asia Series 2008. The Italian,...
STOP OVER AT SEPANG
F1 TEST DRIVER PROMISES PODIUM FINISHES
SEPANG (Feb 10, 2008): Malaysia's team Qi-Meritus.Mahara's Luca Filippi has vowed to deliver podium finishes in the remaining legs of the inaugural GP2 Asia Series 2008.
The Italian, who was recently appointed as Honda Formula One test driver, had a mix outing in his debut for Malaysian outfit Qi-Meritus.Mahara in the opening leg of the GP2 Asian Series in Dubai last month.
After finishing fourth in Race 1, Filippi was in second place in Race 2 when a gearbox failure meant he could not finish the race.
"It was very disappointing to have encountered mechanical failure just when it looked like I was going to get a podium finish, said Filippi.
"Although I have has never previously raced in Dubai, I felt confident after the opening race and despite being denied a podium finish there, I will go all out to be among the top three in the next four legs, starting with Sentul, Indonesia, next week."
Filippi was speaking after his test drives at the Sepang International Circuit, who will host the third leg of the Asian GP2 series next month.
"I have never raced in Malaysia before but the lay out of the track is impressive," said the Savigliano native.
"Most tracks, you need five maybe six laps to get a feel of the layout but even after more than 40 laps, I'm still experiencing some difficulties as the circuit is really challenging.
"I'm quite please Qi-Meritus.Mahara have given me the opportunity to test in Sepang as this is our home venue and I do not want to disappoint the fans when I race here in March. I have always given my best in all my races and while my aim is to finish on the podium, it will be real good to get a win in Sepang."
Pushing Filppi all the way will be teammate Hiroki Yoshimoto.
The Osaka-born driver, who finished fifth in both races in Dubai is confident of bettering his performances in Sentul next week.
"The team have done excellently well putting together a credible outfit who can challenge for honours," he said.
"While we didn't perform as well as we wanted in Dubai, we did prove we have what it takes as we are now third in the overall standings. I'm sure given time, we can improve further."
Qi-Merirus.Mahara have a fine tradition in motorsport and they have won close to 30 titles in Asia in the past 12 years and are the sole Asian team in the Asian GP2 series.
Also present at yesterday's test drive were Meritus founder and president Peter Thompson, managing director-cum-team manager Firhat Mokhzani, Qi's group director, product development Joachi Steffen and The V's executive director Pathman Senathirajah.