JerÃ´me and Ho-Pin: Gearing up for round one in Barcelona The Renault F1 Team's Third Driver, Ho-Pin Tung, and Reserve Driver, JerÃ´me D'Ambrosio, will also be in action in Barcelona this weekend competing in the opening round of the GP2 ...
Jerôme and Ho-Pin: Gearing up for round one in Barcelona
The Renault F1 Team's Third Driver, Ho-Pin Tung, and Reserve Driver, Jerôme D'Ambrosio, will also be in action in Barcelona this weekend competing in the opening round of the GP2 Series.
Racing for the DAMS team, their cars will carry the distinctive colours of the Renault F1 Team, with both men determined to get their seasons off to a strong start.
The GP2 series season gets underway this weekend. Are you looking forward to it?
Jerôme D'Ambrosio: Absolutely! Especially after all the hard work we've put in during winter testing. I've know the guys at DAMS for few years now, but there are a few new engineers this season who I've had to get to know. We've taken the time to build our working relationship over the winter and gone back to basics in the way we set the car up. This approach has already paid off because we set the fastest time at the final pre-season test.
Ho-Pin Tung: I'm really looking forward to coming back to a series as competitive as GP2. Like any driver, I'm here to win, but I know that I'm competing against the best young drivers in the world who are all dreaming of reaching F1, and that's a hugely motivating situation to be in.
What are your ambitions this season?
JDA: I want to aim for the title and I think the set-up at DAMS this year makes this an achievable target. So the title has to be our common goal. To achieve that we need to make sure we are as consistent as possible across the year and avoid errors. In GP2, a bad qualifying session or a DNF in the first race can cost you a lot of potential points.
HPT: Racing for DAMS and having a teammate like Jerôme means that everything is in place for me to have a competitive season. During the final GP2 test in Spain, I had a recurring mechanical problem with my car, but the team has now identified the issue and found a solution back at the factory. So I already know that I will be much quicker than the times I posted three weeks ago during testing.
Your cars will carry the colours of the Renault F1 Team. Does that add extra pressure?
HPT: No, quite the opposite in fact. It's more a source of motivation. For any driver, it's a real honour to be able to wear the yellow and black overalls. The Renault name is closely associated with motorsport and to race in their colours and have their support in GP2 feels great. I'm certainly not feeling any extra pressure.
JDA : I agree with Ho-Pin. Also, we will be racing in front of the F1 team this year and can count on their support. And of course we're determined to show Renault that they've made the right decision by supporting us.
Finally, as members of the Renault F1 Team, what's you view on the team's performance in this first part of the season?
HPT: I've been impressed by the team's ability to make the right decisions at the right times, especially in the changeable weather conditions. Seeing how the team reacted has taught me a lot and I'm sure it will help me in GP2. The team is in a good position after four races and the performance of the car is continuing to improve, which is encouraging for the rest of the year. It's very special to be part of the team and to experience things from the inside.
JDA: The Renault F1 Team has had a great start of the season. There is a very positive atmosphere in the garage and everybody wants to do well and is giving 100% to get the team back to the front. Ho-Pin and I are also trying our best to contribute to this target. The return to Europe feels like a second start to the championship because a lot of the teams, including Renault, will bring new upgrades to their cars. This weekend should be fascinating, in GP2 and F1.