|Silverstone is the venue for round 5 of the 2013 GP2 Series and Racing Engineering is looking forward to the challenge of one of the most historic Grand Prix venues.
The Spanish team has been out of luck at the last two rounds of the Series with neither driver being able to score points but this has almost entirely been due to both Fabio Leimer and Julián Leal being the innocent victims of other drivers’ incidents. Fabio has been fast at all the races so far, winning the Feature Races at Sepang and Bahrain and Julián’s speed in qualifying at Monaco shows that the young Colombian is a serious threat to the other drivers. The Racing Engineering team have always been quick at Silverstone circuit and last year Fabio started the Feature Race from pole position.
The venue for the British Grand Prix, where racing began in 1943, has seen many changes in configuration over the years and the current 5.891km layout comprises 18 corners, predominately fast but also some slow, as well as several long straights. Setting the car up for these variations is vitally important for a quick lap on the circuit known as the home of British Motorsport.
|Below Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering, looks forward to this weekend at Silverstone.
This season had a bit of everything so far and the team faced a lot of bad luck during the last two events. However, Racing Engineering was really fast at Silverstone last year. Do you think this strong performance can be repeated this year?
It's true we weren't too lucky in Barcelona and Monaco due to factors outside our control and we sadly enough didn't take any points in either event. But we definitely hope to change this during the upcoming weekend at Silverstone. So far we haven’t had wet conditions in qualifying or races in 2013 yet, therefore it's hard to predict if we can repeat this strong performance in 2013 as well. But generally Silverstone is a track where our car set-up and drivers have worked well in the past, so we can be optimistic.
Silverstone can't really be compared with the tracks we raced on so far. What are the main characteristics of the track?
Silverstone is a fast track, with a good share of high speed corners. In this aspect the layout can actually be compared to Sepang, even though the conditions are very different given the much lower temperature.
What are the biggest challenges for the drivers and which are the ones for the technical crew?
Even though the Grand Prix at Silverstone takes place during summer, the weather conditions are usually quite unstable and we very often encounter low temperatures and rain there. With the current Pirelli tyres it is a big challenge for drivers as well as engineers to have the tyres working within their optimal temperature operating window. With the weather usually changing during the weekend, it is also a challenge to quickly find the best car balance for all possible conditions.
From Silverstone on the radio traffic between drivers and pit wall will be made public, just like in Formula 1. What effects might this have (on fans, on the work of team, etc.)?
To be honest, we don't yet have a lot of details regarding the planned procedure regarding the radio traffic. But I think that it is fantastic to have our fans even closer to the racing action on track by being able to listen to part of the radio traffic. Sometimes it might also help to better understand what is actually happening on track and the drivers' points of view.
Fabio and Julian both looked really strong in Monaco, and only the incident in turn 1 kept them from both finishing in the points, if not on the podium. What can we expect from the two Racing Engineering boys this weekend at Silverstone?
Yes, Monaco was very frustrating for the drivers as well as the team because we showed a really strong pace in qualifying, which allowed Fabio to start from second row and Julian just a few places behind from seventh place. Qualifying is especially important in Monaco as overtaking is so difficult. But all our chances were ruined in turn 1, which was a real pity. But we are looking ahead and have concentrated on preparing the Silverstone event as well as possible. We are very motivated to qualify at the front once again and score a lot of points; the podium and victory are possible. We are really looking forward to this event!
Practice: Fri 28 Jun 2013, 12:00 (GMT+1)
Qualifying Session: Fri 28 Jun 2013, 15:55 (GMT+1)
Race 1: Sat 29 Jun 2013, 14:40 (GMT+1)
Race 2: Sun 30 Jun 2013, 09:35 (GMT+1)