Mortara geared up for season start at Hockenheim Formula 3 Euroseries rookie champion Edoardo Mortara is eagerly anticipating the first race of this year's F3 Euroseries, which takes place at the German circuit of Hockenheim this weekend....
Mortara geared up for season start at Hockenheim
Formula 3 Euroseries rookie champion Edoardo Mortara is eagerly anticipating the first race of this year's F3 Euroseries, which takes place at the German circuit of Hockenheim this weekend. Mortara is once more driving for the Bourges-based Signature team, with which he won the rookie title, taking two overall wins, last year. This season, the team is using Volkswagen power for the first time on the 20-race calendar, matched to the latest Dallara chassis.
The Hockenheim circuit, which has hosted several Formula 1 Grands Prix, combines some flat-out straights with a tight and twisty stadium section. This means that drivers have to choose quite a versatile set-up, which nonetheless favours the very high top speeds they will hit on the straights. However, if they choose an ultra low-downforce set-up they will struggle for grip in the stadium section. As always, it's a question of compromise -- but Edoardo is hoping to use the experience he gained last year to good effect.
The Signature team has enjoyed a positive series of tests over the winter as part of their pre-seaon build-up, culminating in a second-fastest time for Edoardo on the second day during the most recent test in Magny-Cours, France.
Nonetheless, neither Edoardo nor the Signature team are underestimating the mighty task in front of them in 2008. The Formula 3 Euroseries -- numbering 30 drivers this year - is famously close and competitive, having produced drivers of the calibre of Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil in the past. Although Volkswagen has a long and distinguished history in Formula 3 racing, this will be the new engine's first full season -- so there will still be many things to learn.
"I'm very much looking forward to it," said Edoardo, who will drive car number seven hroughout this year's F3 Euroseries. "I feel extremely relaxed and confident before the season start and I just can't wait to get going now. I've been working a lot on my physical training over the winter, and I can honestly say that I feel fitter now than I have ever been. Our pre-season testing has gone very well, and we've shown a good level of both pace and reliability. But testing and racing are two completely different things, so the only thing that matters is how we perform on the track this weekend. It's hard to know exactly how we will get on, but of course I will be doing my very best."
The weekend will start with a one-hour practice session and a half-hour qualifying session on Friday, to determine the grid for Saturday's race one. The grid for race two on Sunday is decided by the result of the race on Saturday -- but with the top eight grid positions reversed.