Despite a streak of bad luck during the last two GP2 meetings, which resulted in a 10-place grid penalty applied at Saturday's feature race in Italy, Dani Clos returns to Monza this weekend being optimistic. The Fat Burner Racing Engineering...
Despite a streak of bad luck during the last two GP2 meetings, which resulted in a 10-place grid penalty applied at Saturday's feature race in Italy, Dani Clos returns to Monza this weekend being optimistic. The Fat Burner Racing Engineering driver knows the Autodromo di Monza very well, where he was crowned Formula Renault Champion three years ago, and therefore he is eager to get in his GP2 car this weekend to try and obtain his best qualifying result so far, as he knows a good starting position is vital to reach championship points.
Dani, three DNF's in four races. Surely the odds are not on your side despite showing great pace during each weekend where you qualified in very good positions.
Yes, it's a pity because the opportunity is always there, we are also really fast and constant in the races. Until now I had to overtake and fight a lot during the races, but these last 2 meetings, I haven't really been lucky. In Valencia I did my best qualifying so far, but then another car crashed into me from behind at the start. Then again the same in race 2, while I was in 10th, although I started from the last row. At Spa things were a bit different as in race one the first gear wasn't engaging at the pre-start and I had to start from the pits. After that, finishing in 10th position wasn't bad and I did a smart race. But it was not enough to score points and start race 2 at the front. In Sunday's race, I had an accident at the first corner and the race was over.
Do you think you are paying the price for being a rookie?
At the beginning of the season, it surely was, but by now I have gained enough experience to do a proper job. Everything need's to be right and I have to put everything together, then I will get great results. The team is working perfectly and we know we can do things properly.
The next GP2 weekend will be at the legendary Monza Circuit, a track you know pretty well as you raced and won there when you were competing in the Formula Renault. What can you tell us about this circuit?
Yes! I'm really happy to race there this weekend. I have great memories. At Monza I won the Italian Formula Renault Championship in the last race. It's a really quick track where we use really low down-force with long straights, chicanes and really hard braking. The track is perfect for overtaking and it's quite wide where three cars can run next to each down the straights. As for a lap of the circuit, we break very hard into the first corner, where you arrive at some 310km/h into a really slow chicane. Then after a long right-handed curve and a straight, you get to another chicane, again braking hard. The next two corners are to the right and mid speed, with the second one needing a good exit so as to get maximum speed onto the straight that follows. After this, it's the fastest chicane at the track, which gets you onto the back straight and leads to the most famous corner at Monza, the Parabolica. It's a high speed corner where you need to carry as much speed as possible to make a good exit onto the start-finish straight. It's a fast track and I really like it.
After the sprint race in Spa-Francorchamps, you got a 10 place penalty which will be applied at the feature race in Monza. How does this affect your race strategy and your morale?
I doesn't affect anything, to be honest. What I have to do is get the best qualifying result of the season and be the closest to the front possible. It has to be a smart race. Monza is a track where overtaking is possible, so catching up the ones in front is within reach. And knowing this, my morale is high.