Fabio Leimer: "I want to win the race at Silverstone".
Round seven, the first race of the second-half of the 2012 GP2 Series, takes place this weekend at the Silverstone Circuit.
Silverstone, where racing began in 1943, has seen many changes in configuration over the years and the current 5.891km layout comprises 18 corners, predominately fast but also some slow, as well as several long straights. Setting the car up for these variations is vitally important for a quick lap on the circuit known as the home of British Motorsport.
Following on from their successful Valencia weekend were both Racing Engineering drivers finished in the top 6 in both races and Fabio Leimer finished on the podium in the Sprint Race, both Leimer and Nathanaël Berthon will be looking to build on this success and to target the podium once again.
A new tyre regulation comes into force this weekend when all the teams will be supplied with an extra set of Pirelli tyres, giving each driver five, instead of four, sets. The extra set will be in the weekend’s softer compound allowing the drivers to test them in the free practice session as well as allowing the teams to introduce new tyre strategies for the races. Additionally, for the first time, the teams can now opt for a pitstop in the Sprint Race as well as the mandatory stop required in the Feature Race. This weekend the P Zero medium and soft tyres will be the supplied Pirelli options.
Below Fabio Leimer looks forward to racing at Silverstone:
Fabio, even though you finished in 3rd and 4th position in Valencia, you mentioned that more points were possible. Does this give you confidence for the remainder of the season?
Of course! We have seen that we are there and have the speed. Sure, more was possible in Valencia, so I am satisfied, but also disappointed as I had the chance to win both races. But overall the weekend was positive for me and the team as we have the speed and this gives us the confidence for the rest of the season to be in a position to fight for a lot of points.
This weekend's round will take place in Silverstone. Could you explain the layout of the track and what are the main characteristics?
Silverstone is generally a very fast track, which is something I really like. I prefer high-speed corners over slower corners. I think it isn't an easy track and it's important to take lots of speed with you through the corners. Making a mistake here makes you lose more time than on other circuit. I am happy we drive here as the race track really suits my driving style and therefore my goal is to win.
What does all this mean for the tyres? Is tyre management especially important in Silverstone?
I think the main challenge for the Pirellis are the high-speed corners so Silverstone will be hard for the tyres. But this also depends on the temperature and we normally do not race under too high temperatures there. Therefore I am not expecting any problems with the tyres. Rain on the other hand could be a determining factor this weekend. We haven't raced in the wet so far this season and I actually hope it's already raining in free practice and not only when we qualify. But in the end it's the same for everyone. I am pretty sure that at least at one point during the weekend we will drive on a wet track, but that's quite normal for Silverstone.
What have you done since Valencia? And how did you prepare for the upcoming round in the UK?
Right after Valencia I had a few days of rest, but immediately started with my sport program. Then the preparation with the team followed. We worked with the simulator, on the preparation of the car and the strategy for the entire weekend. To be honest, there was little time for much more.
What are your expectations for this weekend? And who do you think will be the drivers to watch out for?
For me it's clear that I want to win the race in Silverstone, we saw in Valencia how fast we are. I really like Silverstone a lot and therefore think that we will be very strong this weekend. As for other drivers, it's hard to say this season. It continues to change, but in the end the ones to look out for will be Valsecchi, Razia, Chilton, Calado and Gutierrez.
Source: Racing Engineering