As Fabio Leimer begins his second season driving for the Racing Engineering team the young Swiss looks forward to the new 2013 GP2 Series season and discusses his hopes and what it will be like to drive again with Julian Leal.
2012 was a big step ahead for you in GP2 and you were a contender to finish each race on the podium. Is it possible to keep this momentum and continue it into the 2013 season?
We worked a lot during the winter and continue to understand the car better and better. I am therefore very positive about the upcoming season and am convinced I can fight for the championship title."
It's the first time you have continued with the same team for a second season in GP2. This will definitely be an advantage for you, but in what way? "I think this is a very big advantage for a driver. The mechanics and engineers already know how to prepare the car for the driver and the driver and entire team already know each other and their work methods.
This allows us to concentrate on the car from the very beginning. We do not need time to spend on making the team and driver understand each other.
I think that this is a huge advantage and we need to make good use of it, which should allow us to be very strong from the beginning on and ready to win the first race in Malaysia.
The season starts out with the first test in Jerez followed by another three days of testing in Barcelona. What will your work consist of and where is the focus? The focus will clearly be on gathering more information on the new tyres and test more things on the car.
I would say that the times are not a priority as we will work on set ups and prepare a fast car for Malaysia. The conditions we encounter in Jerez and Barcelona at this time of the year are very different from those during any race weekend of the season, so we will focus on the set up of the car and the behavior of the tyres.
Julián Leal is your new team mate at Racing Engineering, but you already worked with him two years ago. What do you expect from your collaboration with Julián? Working with him was very positive and we both got along well with each other from the very beginning.
He has a very open character and as a driver is very carefully listening to what he is being told and tries to quickly apply it. For me and the entire team this will be very positive.
Looking at the GP2 field for 2013, who do you think will be your main competitors and what are your expectations for the 2013 season? "It's really hard to say, who the main competitors might be as in GP2 there can always be surprises.
A driver not so fast last season can be really fast the following year. I would also say that those with more experience in GP2 might quickly be fighting at the top and have a little advantage at the beginning of the season.
But at the end of the day everyone on track is a competitor as my goal has to be setting the fastest lap times in qualifying as well as finishing races ahead of all of them. I therefore prefer to concentrate on myself and my performance.
My expectations are definitely to win the championship. I think that already last year, given the speed, we were there and had the chance to take the title, but we also had some bad luck that kept us from achieving it. So my goal clearly is to win and I definitely think it's possible, if all works out well."