Spain’s Racing Engineering is looking forward to getting back to racing action at the 2011 GP2 Finale to be held on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi as part of the F1 race weekend.
As is normal for GP2 Series racing there will be two races held, the first on Saturday the 12th of November and the second on Sunday the 13th.
Following on from their recent very successful testing days at Jerez and Barcelona where Swiss driver Fabio Leimer set the fastest overall times at both tracks the Racing Engineering team are feeling full of confidence for the weekend and for this GP2 Finale the two drivers will be Fabio Leimer and Nathanaël Berthon.
Leimer is clearly already working very well with the Racing Engineering team and with his previous race-winning experience of GP2 and his form in testing; Leimer must be one of the strongest favourites to take victory in both of the Abu Dhabi races.
Frenchman Berthon showed a lot of speed in the Barcelona tests and he has already driven for Racing Engineering in last year’s GP2 Asia Series and knows the Yas Marina circuit so he too has an excellent chance to show he is ready to move into GP2 on a regular basis.
Below Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, the president of Racing Engineering looks forward to the weekend.
What are you expecting from this weekend In Abu Dhabi?
Difficult to say since we have to see how much the track has changed since last winter. We are currently evaluating this, also taking into account that we have much more knowledge now of the Pirelli tires than last year. All in all, I am confident that we are on the right track, as post season testing has shown.
What about the drivers?
Well, Nathanaël is back with us after showing what he was capable of in his first GP2 race weekend last winter at the same track. So I think he is quite confident in his ability with our car. I know he has the talent to put in another good result, I have high hopes for him. As for Fabio, he is consistently quick with our car, but until now he has not raced with it. Let's see if the speed he had during post season testing also translates into wins at Abu Dhabi. But I am confident that with this driver pairing we will see good racing in Abu Dhabi.
We see that Fabio will be testing with Sauber F1 during the Young Driver Test days in Abu Dhabi next week.
Yes, I certainly feel that Fabio has the talent to impress at the test. We worked hard to get him into the test and believe it was worth it since he will be very quick. Obviously, he will need time to adapt to all the controls and methods used in F1. But he is smart and should be up to speed with everything quite quickly.
In what way is this weekend of importance for the 2012 season?
It is obviously the last possibility to work with the cars before the winter break and start of the 2012 season. So it's a good opportunity to verify some of the insights gained during the test days in September and October under race conditions. I am looking forward to this weekend; we will use it to get ready for a very successful 2012 season.