|Round seven of the 2015 GP2 Series sees the Racing Engineering team heading to the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, one of the most popular tracks on the calendar with drivers and spectators alike. Although the last round in Hungary was disappointing in terms of results for Racing Engineering and both drivers, Alexander Rossi and Jordan King, the team has been very fast and reliable at the other rounds and everyone will be working hard to return to the top of the field.
Below Engineer Romain Goasguen looks forward to this weekend in Spa:
The last round at the Hungaroring was not really what the team was looking for, but with a break between Hungary and Spa, was there sufficient time to analyse and understand a race weekend that was so unusual for Racing Engineering?
The race weekend at the Hungaroring was actually very disappointing for the team regarding performance and results. It was probably our worst weekend in terms of tyre management for a long time. The summer break allowed us to analyse in depth a lot of data and parameters in order to understand what went wrong during this event. We have also been working hard on the preparation for the next venue to get back to our best shape at Spa.
Spa-Francorchamps is up next on the calendar. It’s one of the most beautiful circuits in the world, with famous corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont. Can you talk us through a lap at this legendary Belgian circuit
Spa is the longest track of the season, over the seven kilometers of track, you have to deal with very important elevation changes and a lot of different kind of corners. High speed corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are among the most challenging of the year as drivers are running full throttle in both of them. The change this year will be the two DRS zones making for even more action at La Source and Les Combes, which were already two important overtaking spots before the introduction of this device.
Spa-Francorchamps is not only known for the unpredictable weather conditions, it also has one of the longest full throttle sections and difficult corners. What do you see as the most important factors to consider from an engineering point of view
Technically Spa is a very difficult compromise because it is composed of very long straight lines that force you to run with a quite low downforce level to reach high top speeds and a quick overall lap time. On the other hand, there are a lot of medium and high speed corners that would require more downforce than what we actually use to be strong on the whole track. This diversity on the track layout makes a well-balanced car very hard to obtain through an entire lap. That is also why Spa is so challenging for the drivers in addition to the track profile and changing weather conditions.
What makes the difference for a driver when he is at a track like Spa-Francorchamps? What are the crucial points to keep in mind?
The main challenge for a driver at Spa is to correctly manage the low amount of downforce on the car, as explained above. This characteristic makes the car quite difficult to handle, particularly under braking and in high speeds corners. On top of this, the weather conditions are an important parameter also for the driver as he needs to analyse the track conditions well at every moment and on every part of the circuit in order to be able to take the right decision in case of an unpredictable change.
Racing Engineering won the 2014 GP2 feature race at Spa-Francorchamps and we are sure you won’t aim for anything lower this year. Will we finally see the long awaited first win this season?
As always, we have high expectations for this weekend. We have actually achieved good results here over the past years and our performances at the beginning of season gives us confidence to achieve great results with both our drivers. Moreover Jordan equalled his best qualifying result in the last event at the Hungaroring so we have to keep working in this direction to score important points in both championships.