Carlin Head To Italy For GP2
The Carlin GP2 team make an unexpected visit to Italy this week, as Max Chilton and Mikhail Aleshin head to Imola for the final round of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series. The former home of the San Marino Grand Prix is a last minute addition following the withdrawal of the Bahrain rounds from the 2011 calendar.
The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari near the Italian town of Imola will be a new challenge for the majority of GP2 drivers. This weekend will be the first time the F1 feeder series has visited the circuit since 2006 and it will be the first time the Carlin team have raced at the Italian circuit.
British racer Chilton, who qualified seventh for the first race of the season in Abu Dhabi last month will face a new challenge when he takes to the track on Friday morning. The 19 year-old has been getting some knowledge of the track layout through a simulator in the run up to the race weekend.
Chilton’s team mate, Formula Renault 3.5 champion Mikhail Aleshin will be aiming for a strong weekend following a difficult GP2 Asia debut in Abu Dhabi last month. The Russian picked up a broken front wing in a huge accident in the first race of the season and then suffered a rare electrical glitch in the second race around the Yas Marina Circuit.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, Chilton said, “I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I feel like I’ve been out of the car for ages so it will be good to get back on track. GP2 have done a great job to arrange a replacement race at such short notice.
“I’ve never been to Imola before but I’ve had a bit of experience of the circuit on a simulator, and it looks like a real drivers track. Overtaking will be difficult though I think, so it will be important to do a good job in qualifying.”
Trevor Carlin added, “As a team we’ve never raced at Imola before, so this will be a new experience for us. It’s a welcome addition to our season however, and the GP2 organisers should be congratulated for finding a replacement for the Bahrain rounds at such short notice. It seems a long time since Abu Dhabi, but we need to focus on the pace and potential we had there to keep pushing the team forwards.”