Alfonso de Orleans Borbon, Racing Engineering Team Principal
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon looks back at the GP2 Asia Series and forward to the 2011 GP2 season.
Alfonso, GP2 Asia brought a bit of everything for Racing Engineering. How would you review the championship?
We worked very hard during the test days and this resulted in a strong performance by Dani in the 1st qualifying with the new car. But the rest of the weekend was lost when another car crashed into him at the start. In Imola, on the other hand, he drove a very good race on Saturday and took the win on Sunday. Nat for his part was busy getting used to many unknown factors - car, team, etc. but he managed well. His Sunday race in Abu Dhabi was simply incredible! And he was able to bring this form to Imola. While he was unlucky to not find a single clear lap in qualifying, he overtook many cars in both races. Sadly, other cars crashing into him stopped Nat in both his races. So I think in both cases, for Dani and Nat, the results do not properly display their respective performances in GP2 Asia.
Asia only finished recently and the first of two GP2 Main Series tests is about to take place at Silverstone. What will the main focus during these test days be?
Well, first of all Chris Vietoris is taking over the car from Nat. In his case, the focus will therefore clearly be to getting familiar with the new car and tyres as quickly as possible. However, knowing Chris, I doubt this will be difficult for him. We have not yet had too much running time with the new car, so each time we go out on track; we try to obtain as much info as possible on the car and the Pirelli tyres. Therefore, Dani’s and Chris’ tasks will be to bring back as much information and data as possible to verify the insights gained so far. Working well with the new tyres, fine tuning the set-up and finalizing all track work before the season’s first round takes place in Istanbul in May is keeping everyone in the team busy.
Racing Engineering has always been exceptionally strong in Istanbul, but who do you regard as the main competitors during this season?
Well first of all, everyone who participates in GP2 is a competitor, which we are working at beating them all on the track. It will only be after these April test days that we can really have an idea where everyone is. But I think GP2 Asia already showed us that the GP2 veterans are drivers to have an eye on. At the moment, no one is to be ruled out as all teams and drivers are working hard. So our focus is on our drivers and our cars in order to prepare for the season as well as possible.
-source: racing engineering