CARBONE STRUGGLES WITH SET-UP AT SUZUKA
Up-and-coming Brazilian Fabio Carbone suffered a frustrating weekend at Suzuka during round two of this year's Formula Nippon Championship.
The 26 year-old and his Dandelion Racing team mate were both plagued by oversteer throughout the weekend: a persistent problem that could not be eliminated despite some drastic changes to the set-up during the weekend.
Suzuka is a spectacular but technical circuit, which is best known as the home of the Japanese Grand Prix. The track demands complete commitment, which is difficult to achieve if a driver does not have total confidence in his car. The oversteer problem was particularly pronounced on new tyres, but Fabio did his best to work around the issue even though it did not go away entirely.
As a result he could only qualify 14th: a good result under the circumstances. During the race the Brazilian showed his usual aggression to make several passing manoeuvres and climb to 11th place. However, as the race went on the handling problem returned and he slipped down to 15th at the finish.
Fabio commented: "It's not been an easy weekend but we have to stay positive. Most of all, I'd like to thank the team for their professional and considered approach when we realised we had a problem. Everybody did their very best to rectify the situation, but during a race weekend time is so short that it's practically impossible to find a solution in the laps we have available to us. It's an issue that affected both cars equally, so we already have a few ideas about how to solve it.
On the plus side, we've got to the end of both races now and proved the fundamental consistency of the package. All the ingredients are there for us to be on the podium -- and that's our aim from the next race onwards."
The third round of the Formula Nippon Championship takes place at Motegi from May 19-20 but Fabio will be in action before then when he tests his Nakajima Racing Honda NSX next week, in preparation for the third round of the Japanese Super GT Championship from May 3-4 at Fuji.