Below the Spanish team’s Race Engineer Sébastien Viger talks about the Yas Marina circuit and how the team will react to the pressure:
The last time GP2 raced in Abu Dhabi was two years ago and Fabio grabbed pole and victory. What has changed since then?
Obviously, with Pirelli's new tyres in the equation, it's not exactly the same car. Together with this, having new rules means you have to treat the car differently and it can´t run exactly as it was, so yes, it has changed a bit for free practice and qualifying but it's the same for every team. Therefore we are quite confident and we are putting a lot of work into making the car perform as its best. As for us, nothing has changed a lot, it’s just another track. Fabio is normally quite quick in Abu Dhabi, so it's just about putting everything together and carrying on with what we've been doing up until now. And obviously, try to grab the championship title.
What's the Yas Marina circuit like from the engineering point of view? Are there any distinct challenges at the Yas Marina Circuit?
It's quite a challenge because you have all the types of corners you could possibly have in a race track. First sector is quick ant twisty, so you need to have a good aero-balance. Then, the second sector is really quick, long straights and you also need good braking and good traction. And the last sector is really crooked and narrow, so you need a very reactive car. All together it makes Yas Marina quite a challenging track to get a good time at the end of the lap. So it's quite difficult to have the perfect car there, and not just that, it's very difficult from the driver’s point of view too, because he needs to change his mind from sector to sector, it's not the same kind of corner from the beginning to the end of the track. So, definitely, it's very interesting.
Fabio arrives to Abu Dhabi as leader of the championship; does this add extra pressure to you and the team?
Well, for us the pressure has been there from the beginning of the season, because we walked into this season with Fabio as a contender to win the championship. So at the end it hasn't changed so much. Obviously, we want to get the best out of this weekend, being second is not an option for us. First mission is to grab the pole in Abu Dhabi, which will put us in a better situation. Of course, if we don't take it we don't want our competitors to get it, so we will also count on Julian to help the team and maybe he could achieve the first pole of his career here. Anyway, the ideal situation starts with Fabio taking pole, and the first point from the pole, and first race victory, and then it would be much easier and maybe it would be decided by then. We can take nothing for granted, but hopefully all the work we have put in throughout the season will come together in the last track which is normally very good for our car and Fabio. So, yes, there is a bit of pressure but not so much more than there was at the start of the season.