Asia: Qatar: Alvaro Parente joins MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara

GP2 Asia - Alvaro Parente takes over car no. 19 at MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara for Qatar race Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara will field a new driver line up for the fourth round of the GP2 Asia season in Qatar with multi-Europe...

GP2 Asia - Alvaro Parente takes over car no. 19 at MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara for Qatar race

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara will field a new driver line up for the fourth round of the GP2 Asia season in Qatar with multi-Europe Championship winning Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente joining Italian driver Marco Bonanomi.

24-year-old Porto-born Parente will make his GP2 Asia debut in Qatar for the series' first ever night race. Parente who scored over twenty wins and forty podiums in his career also made a stunning start to his GP2 career in the opening round of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya, Parente won the feature race making him the first Portuguese driver to win in GP2 Series. There, Alvaro Parente led from start to finish, to claim victory ahead of Brazilian Bruno Senna and UAE's Andreas Zuber. He eventually finished eighth in the drivers' championship.

Alvaro Parente commented, "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to drive for My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara and to team up with Marco Bonanomi. I am excited about joining a strong and competitive team like My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara, the teams results have shaken established teams with their performance. I'll do my best to show the team, Questnet, the sponsor, and the fans what I can do this weekend. I hope that my experience in GP2 and A1 Grand Prix will help. I hope to be fully ready for the first night race of the weekend in Qatar. I will spend most of the following days learning the circuit and quickly getting up to speed!"

Peter Thompson, team founder commented, "We would like to welcome Alvaro Parente to his first race with My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara, and at relatively short notice he will certainly be thrown in at the deep end. My Team Qi-Meritus.Mahara is fighting to stay in the running with the top teams in the championship. For the Qatar race we have a strong driver line up that is hungry for success and will fight hard to continue scoring points."

Raad S. Abduljawad commented, "We are delighted to announce our new driver line-up. We will focus on the future, which looks very exciting indeed. Alvaro Parente is one of the most promising young drivers in the world and it will be very interesting to see him compete with us as part of our team. He scored his first ever GP2 win in his first race, so we know that his experience will be an extremely valuable one."

The fourth round of the GP2 Asia 2008-2009 season will take place at Losail International Circuit on 13-14 February, 2009. It will be the first time that GP2 Asia races in Qatar and at night. The season will consist of six, two race rounds ending in Bahrain on 26 April, 2009. The next round will be Sepang on 4-5 April 2009.

Q and A with Alvaro Parente (Portugal)

Q: When was last time that you drove a racing car?

A: Last year in the October GP2 race

Q: Is it frightening to start with a new team without testing?

A: I am used to it. One of my qualities is that I can adapt

Q: Will you be ready for the start of the qualifying and the race?

A: It takes a bit of concentration to learn a new track. Usually, I try to study a circuit in a simulator. Otherwise, I discuss and walk with my engineers. I am a fast learner

Q: Do you know the GP2 car that you will drive this race?

A: I dis tests in 2005 and raced with Super Nova, so I have the right level

Q: What attracted you to joining Team My Qi Meritus.Mahara?

A: I heard about the team last season and followed the championship and watched them. I can remember the Indonesia podium with Luca di Filippi. The team has a very good image It was not hard for Peter Thompson and Gianfranco Bielli to convince me to join such a strong team.

Q: How did you spend the off-season? What did you do the most recent weeks?

A: I am very fit and live like an athlete- lots of sport, keeping fit, and getting ready for more races.

Q: How do you prepare for each race, mentally and physically?

A: Physically it is easy: a lot of sport - tennis, football without hurting myself - going to the gym. Sports takes a lot of time in a day. Mentally I just stay relaxed and focused on the approach to a race. I try to imagine and concentrate on the next track. In this particular instance that is a bit difficult to achieve because I have no data on the track. But a good approach is to keep relaxed and try to plan what I want to do during the weekend.

Q: Do you have any superstitions before a race?

A: I always get in the car with the right foot first but it is a habit not a superstition. It is just easier and more natural for me.

Q: What is your most memorable racing memory?

A: The last race in Valencia - it was going very well, but I ran out of fuel two laps before the end although I had a good pace I lost the race.

Q: When looking at the remaining calendar, what circuits will you enjoy racing at the most?

A: Malaysia and Bahrain of course. Malaysia because I have raced there and love the track.

Bahrain for a different reason: I have never been there and am looking forward to know the track.

Q: What circuit is the most demanding?

A: In my whole career...I have never experienced a tougher track than Macao

Q: Your best quality?

A; I prefer that others be the judge to that.

Q: Your best racing quality?

A: Very determined and fight all the time for improvement

Q: What you hate most?

A: Not to be competitive and not being on the pace.

Q: If you had not become a racing driver, what would you have done for a living?

A: Not sure. But definitely something to do with sport or any business related to bringing people together.

Q: What is the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?

A: Fans are fantastic: There is one person who prepared two really huge posters about me and my races and framed them before handing them out to me. It was fantastic. I have met very dynamic fans doing great things including my website, working on the new design for my helmet and doing all these fantastic things for my image because they love racing and me.

Q: What is the main negative aspect of your career?

A: Changing championship several times in the year is difficult. But the positive side is that I get to know all the race tracks around the world very soon, so it always brings something positive.

Q: Who did you learn the most from in your racing career?

A: I admired Ayrton and his racing qualities.

Q: Have you raced in a series with a two-race format before? Do you prefer it over a single race per weekend?

A: Now, all the championships are a two-race format. I like this even if the order is a bit disrupted sometimes.

-credit: meritus

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Marco Bonanomi , Alvaro Parente , Bruno Senna