Twenty two year old Colombian Julian Leal will be driving for Racing Engineering in the 2013 GP2 Series and he will be having his first experience in the team's Dallara at the three-day test session to be held at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain starting on the 26th February.
Below he tells us of his preparation and expectations for the 2013 season.
Julian, after having gained experience in GP2 with other teams, you joined Racing Engineering for 2013. What does this mean to you? "The truth is that this is a very important year for me.
I think with Racing Engineering I can find what I am looking for.
I hope that everything works out really well during the season. More than anything, this is why I joined Racing Engineering, as I was looking for a team to help me validate the experience I have gained up till now."
You have already had the chance to get to know the team, visit their facilities, and have a glimpse of their work method. What are your first impressions? "My first impressions are that this is a very well organised team, very united, which is something very important for me.
All the mechanics talk to each other, as do the engineers, they all share information and I think this is the way to grow as a team.
The facilities appear to be very good. The team has its own simulator, but also one by Bhai Tech, which is a big help for the drivers. All this has given me some very good impressions."
Not too long and the first test days in Jerez take place. Are you excited? "Of course, I am. I cannot wait for the chance to get into the Racing Engineering car for the first time; I am working hard on my preparation for this.
I have been working on my physical preparation constantly in Italy. Now we will work on the technical preparations using the simulator. Jerez, like Barcelona, is a fast track with quick and slow corners, very technical, and I think it’s a great opportunity to test the Racing Engineering car on tracks like these."
What have you done during winter to prepare yourself for this season? "Well, I think that preparation never finishes. I was working on my physical preparation all the time, not like in Europe, as there it is practically the only thing I do all day long, but in Colombia I trained once per day and also took advantage of being there, so I really enjoyed spending time with my family as I usually don’t see them too much. I always took time to train and I don’t think I will have any physical problems."
In a month’s time there will be the first GP2 race of the 2013 season taking place. What are your expectations for this season? "I hope that this will be a very positive and very good year. I hope to continue to learn many things, validate the many things I have learned until now. I hope to be able to show everyone what I am really capable of.
Racing Engineering is a very good team and I hope that together we can do a very good job and achieve results that are satisfying for both of us."