Excellent Qualifying for Racing Engineering at Abu Dhabi
Spain's Racing Engineering team got off to an excellent start to the first round of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series when both drivers qualified in the top 10 for tomorrow's race on the Yas Marina circuit.
For the morning Free Practice both drivers concentrated on setting up their cars as they and the Racing Engineering team continued to learn how to maximise the performance of the new 2011 Dallara chassis. Concentrating on the development of their cars both drivers were outside the top 15 times but although Dani Clos was a little disappointed with his time both he and Berthon were confident of more to come in Qualifying.
From the start of Qualifying Spaniard Dani Clos was right on the pace running in the top six and, by just after the halfway point, he had set the third fastest time. As the times continues to fall Clos remained amongst the fastest and by the end of the session he had qualified an excellent fourth just a few tenths of a second behind the fastest qualifier, the former Formula 1 driver, Romain Grosjean.
For Nathanael Berthon both Free Practice and Qualifying were all about continuing to learn about driving a GP2 car and the Frenchman showed just how quickly he is adapting GP2 when by the end of Qualifying he had set the tenth fastest time, just two tenths of a second behind Clos.
For tomorrow's race both drivers can look forward to the chances of a very good result, Dani Clos will be looking for a podium place at the least and he must be considered a good bet for the win. For Berthon it will be a case of looking for a strong finish as well as gaining a good grid position for Saturday's race.
This was a positive session. We have worked a lot these last weeks. Today's free practice didn't go exactly as we hoped, but we continued with our work dynamics and, well, we were very calm and concentrated for qualifying. Things went well. We have a good starting position for tomorrow's race and we will do our job the best we can.
We worked really hard during the tests and I was on the back of the timing sheets, but it was really a big job for me to get used to the GP2 car. GP2 is really different compared to World Series and I had to change my driving style. Additionally, there are a lot of very experienced drivers in GP2. For me, after 2008 in Renaults 2.0, 2009 was my first real racing season and now I am in P10 in my first Gp2 qualifying. I am really confident and know the hard work paid off. I am happy with today's results and now we need to concentrate on tomorrow's race.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, president of Racing Engineering:
Fantastic job from both boys. Even though they both picked up traffic, it is great to have Dani and Nathanael in the top 10. Everyone did a fantastic job and we have lots of work now to get ready for tomorrow's race. It seems as if Grosjean's testing with Pirelli this winter might have helped, but we will work hard to catch him. So, let's see what tomorrow's race brings.Timetable
-source: trident racing