|Five days after the end of the three day pre-season tests in Abu Dhabi the GP2 teams are now in Bahrain for their final three days of testing before the 2014 season starts in just over two weeks’ time. Both of the new Racing Engineering drivers, Stefano Coletti and Raffaele Marciello set some very promising times as the team worked through a comprehensive programme of developing the cars set ups, race simulations and pit stop practices.
The Racing Engineering team will continue their work in Bahrain, starting on the 19th March, as they look to ensure that they are still the team to beat in the GP2 Series.
Below Stefano Coletti looks forward to the Bahrain test days:
A few days ago you were testing in Abu Dhabi; this was your first contact with the Racing Engineering car. What were your first impressions about the team and the car?
I was really happy to finally drive after a 4 month break and I was very excited to test the Racing Engineering car. I was very happy with the team and their way of working, everyone is very professional and helped me to get the potential out of the car and myself. I have to say that the first laps in this new car weren’t easy as it is completely different from what I have been used to until now. I therefore had to change my driving style a bit with the help of my engineer, but as soon as I understood how to drive, I realised how much potential there was in this car. So, to summarise, I am very happy with both the team and the car.
What were the main conclusions you drew from the three days of testing in Abu Dhabi?
During these three days in Abu Dhabi we did a lot of work on the car and, as I mentioned before, my driving as well. In the end I can say that the car was on the pace for a qualifying lap and very quick during the race simulation. So I am confident about the season that we have ahead of us.
This week the second collective test is taking place, this time in Bahrain. This is also the venue for the first race event of the season. What will be the main focus of the work be and is there a difference due to the season kicking off here?
I think for Bahrain the main focus will be for me to get everything out of the car on a qualifying lap. I know for sure now that the car is very quick in the race, so I need to work hard with my engineer on the “one lap” to be able to take pole position on the 4th of April at the championship’s season opener. These three days will be very important because it was clear that Racing Engineering had a very strong car with Fabio last season, but other teams are working hard as well during these days of testing. It will be our job to push the limit higher and to keep the advantage over them.