|This weekend sees the GP2 teams take on the challenge of Germany’s Nürburgring circuit, the venue for round 6 of the 2011 GP2 Series.
Due to the German GP alternating between the Nürburgring and Hockenheim the GP2 cars haven’t competed here since 2009 and this will of course be the first time that the new 2011 Dallara with its Pirelli tyres will race here.
The 2011 GP2 Series is proving to be very competitive with seven different race winners from ten races so that the Championships for both the drivers and the teams is still wide open and, following on from their excellent results at Silverstone, both the Racing Engineering team and its drivers, Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris, will be looking for more podium finishes.
Below Thomas Couyotopoulo, Racing Engineering’s Sporting Director, talks about a successful Silverstone and looks forward to the Nürburgring.
Silverstone has been a very good weekend for Racing Engineering with both drivers being strong in qualifying and having finished the races on the podium. What made the difference?
Silverstone has been overall a positive weekend for us. Obviously the track was different from the previous one, but also the weather conditions and tyre compound changed. We were quick at Silverstone during the pre-season testing and have applied what we learned from the previous races. Both drivers have made a good job and results have been pretty good as they both qualified well and each of them achieved a second position during the races. Nevertheless, it’s never perfect and there are points to improve to be strong throughout the event. Just like in Formula 1, the optimal tyre utilization remains at all times the biggest influencing factor this season and we are glad with the progress we have made. We have tried different solutions and can therefore compare the results, which will help us continue to improve the performance and durability.
This week the GP2 field gathers at the German Nürburgring. What are the main differences between the two race tracks and what does this mean for the team?
One of the main differences is for sure that GP2 teams and drivers normally know Silverstone better because we race there every year and have been testing at Silverstone earlier this season. Regarding the track layout, Silverstone has an overall faster profile and is considered as a very flat track. Nürburgring is quite complex, with more slow and mid speed corners, going up and down through the German landscape. It is quite bumpy and drivers need to use the entire width of the track…and even more! The Nürburgring is a fascinating circuit, very challenging for drivers as well as teams.
After two years GP2 Series is back at the Nürburgring with a new car and a new tyre manufacturer. Pirelli is supplying the teams with the soft compound this weekend, the same used in Valencia. Can all insights gained during the Valencia event be applied during the upcoming weekend?
The tyres supplied this weekend in Germany will be the same like in Valencia, but obviously the track is different and the weather conditions might be very different as well. We know that we had some specific issue during the Valencia event and have worked on it. Valencia is a track with many "stop & go" sequences, big braking on the straight lines is normal there. Nürburgring, on the other hand, has a smoother layout, where the car and driver need to kind of "flow" through the corners. This is very much affecting the driving and also the choices made.
After scoring many points in Silverstone, the team must be aiming to repeat this excellent performance this weekend in Germany. What are the expectations?
Although Silverstone was a good weekend and Racing Engineering was the team scoring the most points (16 points), we obviously aim for the top spot on the podium. We are working hard to permanently improve and after several podium finishes for our drivers this season, we want to see this effort of all the team members rewarded by a race win.
Qualifying: 22 July 2011 13:55:00 GMT +1
Race 1: 23 July 2011 13:40:00 GMT +1
Race 2: 24 July 2011 08:35:00 GMT +1