Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon: we can expect both our drivers in top positions. The third round of the 2010 GP2 Series is taking place this weekend at the Istanbul Park Circuit. Racing Engineering has always convinced with a strong performance at...
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon: we can expect both our drivers in top positions.
The third round of the 2010 GP2 Series is taking place this weekend at the Istanbul Park Circuit. Racing Engineering has always convinced with a strong performance at the Turkish race track since it's inauguration in August, 2005. While Giorgio Pantano dominated the race weekend in 2008, it was Racing Engineering's Lucas di Grassi, who climbed onto the top spot of the podium in 2009. The excellent results achieved in the past at this race track, which is one of the trickiest in the championship calendar, and the convincing performance of Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris during the first two rounds of the 2010 championship are making the Spanish team's drivers candidates for the top spots in both races. Racing Engineering's president, Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, gives us his impressions about the Turkish race track and what we can expect from the two Racing Engineering drivers.
The Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park has always been a special race weekend for Racing Engineering during the last seasons. Could you tell us what makes this track so demanding from a technical point of view?
I think Istanbul is one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar and tyre management is a crucial factor. We will be racing on Bridgestone's medium compound tyres this weekend and, with the track being the only anti-clockwise one of the year together with Abu Dhabi, the set-up is different as the right hand side tyres of the car are under greater stress. It is a high-speed track, but follows the contours of the landscape, which dips and falls. It is also influenced by many of the world's best race tracks, and turn 8 is probably the best corner of the track. It's a quadruple apex corner with a high G-force load for several seconds. It is actually 4 corners joined together. I would say this is the trickiest corner of the track. After Barcelona and the narrow streets of Monaco, the very wide Turkish race track, with its various overtaking opportunities, will guarantee very interesting races. It's my favorite track with Spa and Monza.
Dani has scored points in three out of four races so far, and although Christian hasn't yet been able to score points, he has shown speed and talent. Are you happy with the results achieved so far?
Yes and no. In Dani's case we are definitely happy with his results. He is right now second in the championship and all the hard work during the winter is paying off. Scoring points in three races, making it onto the podium twice and snatching pole in Monaco, all this was no accident. We always knew that Dani is very fast, and while he had a tough learning year, I am convinced we will see him many more times on the podium during this season. As for Christian, we really hope his bad luck is over now. He was already strong in Barcelona, but definitely impressed for his first time in Monaco. Third in free practice and eighth in qualifying was a great achievement for our rookie. However, what happened after was completely out of his and our hands and it is a shame as we all know that he is such a talented driver with so much natural speed. I wouldn't want to say that we should forget those two meetings as he showed what he is capable of and learned quite a bit, but he definitely deserves some good results now.
Having seen both drivers and their performances in Barcelona and Monaco, what are the expectations for Turkey?
Based on our past results we know that we have a very strong car in Istanbul. Having seen the results of Dani and Christian during all sessions of the first two rounds, we know that we have two extremely fast drivers. Putting this together, I think that we have what is necessary to make it on the podium and, why not, achieve yet another victory at Istanbul Park. Therefore, I think we can expect both our drivers to be in top positions, if they also have the necessary luck...