|After a five week break it is time for round 2 of the 2014 GP2 Series and after the heat and sand of Bahrain the GP2 teams will be assembling in the spring sunshine of Barcelona. For the Sanlúcar de Barrameda based Racing Engineering team this will be their home race their home race and even though the season opener didn’t really reach the team’s expectations, a lot of positive insights were gathered and the team has worked hard during the recent weeks to give an even better performance.
Below Racing Engineering driver Raffaele Marciello looks forward to his first GP2 race on the Circuit de Catalunya.
Lello, Bahrain didn’t really go according to plan, but nevertheless there were some positive points to be seen during the weekend.
Yes, I was able to show my potential and I was really, really fast under race conditions. I think all I need to do is improve my start, because even though I was not amongst the fastest in qualifying, I should have been in the top 5. And this is important as during the race good tyre management allows you to still be able to overtake towards the end of the race. So, I definitely need to improve the start because after that, in the races, I am fast.
Are you happy to get back into the car after the 5 week break? And what have you done in the meantime?
Yes, I am really happy to get back into the car. During the break I trained, but it’s not like being a football player, who can still play football, even though there is a break in the championship. For us it is different and we have to find other ways to train, to keep fit and prepare for the next event. Compared to racing a car running and biking can be a bit boring, but it’s part of the job. So, yes, I am happy to get back into the car.
Barcelona is the next venue on the calendar and it’s a track you know. Does this help?
We had already tested in Bahrain before the race weekend, so I know both tracks quite well. The difference is that in Bahrain I tested with the GP2 car, whereas in Barcelona I only tested with World Series. This might make qualifying and the races a bit more difficult for me. But our car is fast and I know the track, so I don’t think this will be a problem.
What are the characteristics of the Circuit de Catalunya?
It is a quite a technical track and challenging, the asphalt is really hard on the tyres. Apart from that it’s difficult to overtake at Barcelona. Even though it’s a long track, there are no long enough straights, so qualifying will be quite important. As for the track layout itself, the first two sectors are fast, but sector 3 is slow and this is where problems with the tyres could occur. Therefore, tyre degradation will be an important factor this weekend.
You were really quick during the season opener in Bahrain. Do you expect a similar speed in Barcelona?
Yes, for sure I can also be fast in Barcelona, why not? My expectation for this weekend hasn’t changed since Bahrain. I would like to finish both races in the top 5 and I will do my best.