Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon: "Our target is to win" With Silverstone being the latest venue for the 2010 GP2 Series and everyone heading towards the Hockenheimring in Germany, this season's halfway mark has been passed. Spanish team Racing ...
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon: "Our target is to win"
With Silverstone being the latest venue for the 2010 GP2 Series and everyone heading towards the Hockenheimring in Germany, this season's halfway mark has been passed. Spanish team Racing Engineering is currently fourth in the teams' standings and Spaniard Dani Clos second in the drivers' championship. We are looking at the first half of the season and talk about the expectations for the forthcoming races, with Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, president of the Spanish formation.
Alfonso, half of the season is over and the Racing Engineering drivers have faced different luck so far. How do you view the current situation of the team, and how does it compare to the initial objectives for the season?
We have always had a rookie in the team with an experienced driver. So no surprise here for us. Although I think in the team championship we would be doing a lot better if Christian would have had better luck until now. It's a pity, since he is a very talented driver.
Dani Clos has achieved a victory and several podiums, and is currently second in the drivers' standings, 19 points behind GP2 veteran Pastor Maldonado. Can you tell us your opinion on Dani's progression this season, and how has he changed from last year?
I think he could lead the championship if he could be a bit more aggressive. His speed and consistency are impressive. Probably the driver who uses his head the most when out there. Now he just needs to challenge for the lead at every race. Podium finishes, although fantastic, but not good enough anymore if he wants to win a championship, but I am sure he can do it. He has completely changed as a driver, and as a person from last year. We all knew he was talented, but he just needed to put it all together, which he has done magnificently.
Christian Vietoris has had more than his fair share of bad luck, especially when it came to technical gremlins outside the team's influence. How did this affect the team, but also him as a driver?
Well, I have to say that Christian has had tremendous bad luck with problems that had been out of our hands, which makes it all the more frustrating. He is a driver that could easily be in the top three, but sadly isn't. But all that is behind us and he is going to have a great second half of the season. He is extremely motivated since he knows he has tremendous talent to get great results. So mentally, he is ready for a great second half of the season.
Christian Vietoris was able to get back into the pace at Silverstone and, although the results in the races were not as great as expected, it became clear that points and podiums are within his reach. Did this return some confidence to him?
Well, he has always been very confident, although frustrated by the setbacks. So his confidence showed in Silverstone. This means that the second half of the season will really show what he is capable of. Don't forget, all the tracks he has raced on this season until now, he did not know. Which makes it all the more difficult for him. But starting in Hockemheim, that will all change.
Racing Engineering is currently fourth in the teams' standings. Due to several problems experienced by Chris, which were out of the team's hands, the majority of the points came from only one of the team's drivers. Are you hoping to be able to reverse this situation for the second half of the championship, so you can bring yourselves back into contention for the teams' title?
Of course, this has to be our goal, although not our primary goal, since first of all, the drivers have to be in the top places of the championship. If this then puts us in the top spot, so be it.
On the other hand, as second in the championship standings, Dani Clos is the main rival for Maldonado in the drivers' championship. Is there a strategy for the rest of the season, so Dani can challenge the Venezuelan for the title?
Dani should just keep doing what he has been all season, only now with a bit more aggression to push for wins, not just podiums. He has the talent, speed and consistency to beat an old timer with many years more experience.
Next round is Hockenheim, a mythical track that went through some profound changes a few years ago. What are Racing Engineering's objectives for this race weekend, which also happens to be Chris' home event?
Well, to start with, we are aiming for a win for either driver in the two races. Dani has been up there all season and has already had a win, so no reason he can't do it again. As for Christian, he is finally driving on the first track of the season he has previously raced...and won on. So I think we will have a good weekend. Don't forget, the mechanics and engineers have been doing a great job, which has lead us to a flawless season once again on the technical side.