|This weekend sees Round 4 of the 2016 GP2 Series take place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and below Alfonso de Orléans- Borbón, President of Racing Engineering, talks about the challenges of the circuit and how Racing Engineering have prepared for the busy weeks ahead.
How would you describe the main characteristics of the Red Bull Ring?
First of all the setting. It is in Styrian mountains, so an absolutely beautiful background, on top of that, the ambience has always been great as it is a circuit that both the teams and the fans enjoy. Added to this is the nature of the track which is all up and down, so a driver is never bored and the fans have pretty much a decent view over the majority of the track. The only negative point is that it is a bit short, but I have heard that they are working to increase its length. If this happens, it will probably be one of the best tracks on the calendar.
Given that the Red Bull Ring has a short and twisty track layout there are still good overtaking opportunities guaranteeing exciting races. Which ones are the crucial spots?
The first two corners will definitely be where most of the overtaking action will take place. There are a couple of other places, but they might be a bit risky. Unlike F1, GP2 cars are very similar in performance, so the racing will be tight and with quite a bit of overtaking. I think that for a track as short as this, there are plenty of opportunities to overtake, unlike say Budapest or Monaco.
What are Racing Engineering’s expectations for the upcoming round given that drivers have shown good speed not only during pre-seasons testing but also in all three race events so far and the team has achieved good results here in the past.
I think that the work we have done to prepare for this race will definitely pay off. The drivers are quick and so are the cars, so it should not be a problem to do well. The only thing that worries me is that being such a short track, there will be quite a bit of traffic that could hinder the drivers from doing their best, especially in qualifying, where we have seen in the past quite a few drivers being blocked by slower drivers in front. This is a track where it might be a good idea to split the field for qualifying as it is done in Monaco.
GP2 teams had to quickly prepare the cars after Baku to go to Austria. The following weekend GP2 races in Silverstone and after one weekend off, there are Germany and Hungary back to back. How does a GP2 team prepare for such an intense time?
We have been preparing this for some time now. It will need some very precise organization on every level for it to work efficiently Although this might seem like a bit of an exaggeration, it will allow the team to not only prepare then race, but also have the necessary time off to allow everyone to recharge their batteries. This is just as important as any technical aspects that are needed during a race weekend. I think that the vast experience the team has in such organization helps out, making everything run smoothly.