The two Qi-Meritus.Mahara drivers familiarize themselves with the Dubai race track for the first time The two Qi-Meritus.Mahara drivers cars 26 (Hiroki Yoshimoto) and 27 (Luca Filippi) will line up on the track for the first time tomorrow for...
The two Qi-Meritus.Mahara drivers familiarize themselves with the Dubai race track for the first time
The two Qi-Meritus.Mahara drivers cars 26 (Hiroki Yoshimoto) and 27 (Luca Filippi) will line up on the track for the first time tomorrow for its first test of GP2 Asia 2008 programmed just before the inaugural race week-end of the GP2 Asia season at the Dubai Autodrome.
Today, both drivers worked on the final details of the setup of their car, Hiroki Yoshimoto with engineer Mario Cambiaghi and Luca Filippi with engineer Alessandro Brambilla. The discussions revolved about routine preparation and seat position setup, the break pedals, and the choice of the working program tomorrow, as well as how to adapt the car's data to one of the four traditional layout configurations of layout retained by the GP2 Series organizer for their first race: "the international layout".
The rain, unprecedented and unexpected in Dubai, was recorded as the highest nationwide for January earlier this week, blocked most major roads and highways as well as access to the circuit while flooding a few of the garages. But the floods have not have not altered or caused any delays until now to the organizers' race plans. The track's total length has been planned for a 4.2 kilometers long race which will allow the cars to race according to the regulations a 180 kilometers distance for race 1 and 120 kilometers distance for race 2. The FIA technical Director Charlie Whiting will arrive in the next days for a final inspection before the race.
Gianfranco BIELLI, Team Principal says: "We experienced shipment delays of parts that have slowed work down despite our team of Italian and Malaysian mechanics working around the clock. Even the drivers overalls had not arrived at the time of the official photo session. But all should be back to normal as of tomorrow and certainly for the race week-end."
Luca FILIPPI: "Today I had a late start after my overseas trip. I am fit and we finalized the entire program for tomorrow starting with a familiarization walk around the track and in preparation of the final team strategy with our engineers. After the first kilometers, we will be looking into setup and fine tuning of our car. It will be encouraging for us to see to see the progress at the end of the day. I am not too worried with the water."
Hiroki Yoshimoto: "It has been a long wait since I landed. A driver without a car is always a bit worried. A consequence of the wet conditions is that we will have very low grip - not good for racing with our tyres. I was favorably impressed with the big run off areas. But they might create dangerous situations during the race, if the other guys decide they can push and won't get in trouble if they go off. Now that we have taken a good look, I know better what to expect. With my engineers, we have a few answers and solution to some questions and problems about how to progress. This is a good step forward and we know better what we need to work on in terms of improvements. What may slow us down is the state of the track tomorrow. When it dries, the mud will become a factor. It will be so dirty that I cannot imagine how much there will actually be. We will probably have to wait for the big sweepers to clean the track several times before even driving around and the track may still not be driveable. The large run off areas are interesting, but they may lead to aggressive behaviour causing unnecessary risk-taking. This may give a driver a false impression of safety. At the end whether you hit a wall or finish in the gravel, you are still not finishing the race."