After a one month break the GP2 teams are back in action this weekend at Spain’s 5.419 km Valencia street circuit.Timetable:
The Racing Engineering team are pleased to welcome back Germany’s Christian Vietoris after missing the Barcelona and Monaco rounds. Christian proved very fast in pre-season testing and should be a front-runner in Valencia.
For this race, the fourth round of the 2011 GP2 Series, all the teams will be using a new compound of Pirelli tyre, the P Zero soft compound. Designed to give good grip on medium-slow tracks, the Free Practice session will be especially important as the teams work on the set-up of their cars to suit the new tyre.
Below Dani Clos, who is currently lying 8th in the GP2 Drivers Championship and is a strong contender for victory this weekend, speaks about the Valencia circuit.
Dani, the GP2 Series is coming back to Spain this week and Valencia is the venue of the second street race of the season. What are the characteristics of the Valencia street circuit?
The Valencia street circuit is a very interesting circuit; one of the nicest parts is that it is in the middle of the city. Even though its main characteristic is being a city circuit, when you drive there, it actually appears more like a permanent race track. One aspect which makes it appear less like a city circuit is the fact that there are many run off areas. This means that in certain places you can risk a bit more. The asphalt is quite good and there are not many bumps, like the one where the bridge connects to the circuit.
One of the most interesting areas of the circuit is the last sector, which we approach from a very important straight. We have to slow down into second gear to take a very tight 180° corner. After, we approach various fast corners at high speed until we arrive at the last turn, a very tight corner, before we are on the straight again. The Valencia street circuit is very nice and it's worth seeing where it is actually situated as the layout, with the city of Valencia as its base, is unique.
Qualifying will once more be really crucial, but in last year's race you showed us some really nice overtaking manoeuvres. Which are the areas on track allowing such overtaking and to what extent might the new tyres limit these fights for positions?
If you get the right slipstream, there are good chances to overtake after all the long straights. The tyres will be the most important factor to work on as the temperature of the track will be quite high and the soft compound is new for us. It will definitely be a challenge to get to know this new tyre compound as quickly as possible. So, I think it will be an interesting race weekend.
What are your expectations for this race weekend?
My expectations? You can never expect anything. I just want everything to be normal and without any problem with car or tyres, as so far we were not too lucky. If everything is normal I can do my job inside the car and we should achieve the results we deserve.
Qualifying: 24 June 2011 15:55:00 to 16:25:00
Race 1: 25 June 2011 15:40:00
Race 2: 26 June 2011 10:35:00