"It's fantastic to race at Silverstone".
The 2011 GP2 Series has reached the half-way point in the season, already four race weekends have taken place which just leaves four to go after this weekend’s two races at Silverstone.
Following the two street circuit races at Monaco and Valencia, the GP2 teams now have to face the challenge of Silverstone with its mixture of fast straights and demanding corners.
Spain’s Racing Engineering team are looking forward to this weekend following on from Valencia where Dani Clos finished 4th and 5th in the two races. Clos has already shown his pace at Silverstone where he took two podium places in the 2010 races so he must be considered one of the pre-race favourites for victory.
For Christian Vietoris, Valencia was ultimately disappointing but he showed great pace in both races and the young German will be looking forward to be at the front of the field this weekend.
Below Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering looks forward to Silverstone:
Dani was close to making it on to the podium in Valencia, but in the end the results were not as expected. The team must have been looking for a strong weekend in Valencia.
Actually, we had good cars; the drivers were doing a great job. But sadly, the rear tires degraded faster than expected, so the drivers were not able to prove their potential. We have obviously worked hard since then in order to avoid such problems in the future and we are all looking forward to the upcoming race weekend in Silverstone, where we hope to be on the podium again, just like in Barcelona and Monaco.
This weekend the GP2 field gathers in Silverstone. What are the challenges of this track? And have the changes made to the layout during the last years made a difference?
The track has a wonderful new F1 paddock. Very big, well set out and impressive to look at. The nice thing is that GP2 inherits the old F1 paddock, so along with Spa and Monaco, we have three tracks where we don't need to set up a tent, it’s nice to work in those conditions. Apart from that, some parts have been resurfaced, so we have to see how the cars react on that surface. The track has definitely changed in the last five years. I would say it is on par with tracks like Spa or Istanbul. Great to see the work put into the place, and overall it's just fantastic to race in Silverstone. It is called the home of motor sport and you only need to get close to the track to feel this.
Pirelli are supplying the GP2 teams with their medium compound tyres this weekend, already anticipating that the drivers will have to take really good care during the races. Are the tyres the main challenge during this weekend?
I would think they are probably the most important challenge. But we also have to keep in mind the different types of asphalt and most important, the weather. Who knows, we might not even use the mediums during the whole weekend. That should make it quite interesting. Having looked at the weather forecast, I think it's hard to make any predictions at the moment.
Pre-season testing went very well for Racing Engineering at Silverstone. Can we expect similar results this weekend?
I would think so, but let's see how the tires react with warmer weather or with rain. The drivers and the teams know the track, so it's a matter of fine tuning the changes we might encounter. Some teams, especially the ones connected with F1 teams, should have a slight advantage in free practice and qualifying, but in the end, once the races start, we should see who the best drivers on the track are.