Racing Engineering is ready for the challenge of Hockenheim
20.07.2012: Germany’s Hockenheim circuit is the venue this weekend for round eight of the 2012 GP2 Series.
Germany’s Hockenheim circuit is the venue this weekend for round eight of the 2012 GP2 Series.
The revised 4.574km Hockenheimring, designed by Hermann Tilke in 2001, no longer has the fast sweeping straights running through the forests. It now comprises 17 corners, a number of which are relatively tight but it still boasts the famous concrete Stadium section where all the fans gather to watch the racing.
This weekend Pirelli will be providing the P Zero White medium tyres and P Zero Yellow soft tyres for the race as the circuit is not especially taxing on tyres. This weekend, weather permitting, will see the first time the new tyre regulations will be used when all the teams will be supplied with an extra set of Pirelli tyres, giving each driver five, instead of four, sets.
The extra set will be in the weekend’s softer compound allowing the drivers to test them in the free practice session as well as allowing the teams to introduce new tyre strategies for the races. Additionally, for the first time, the teams can now opt for a pitstop in the Sprint Race as well as the mandatory stop required in the Feature Race. This rule came into effect at Silverstone but the wet weather conditions saw wet tyres used for much of the weekend.
Although the Silverstone weekend was ultimately disappointing in terms of results for Racing Engineering Fabio Leimer’s pole position and dominance of the Feature Race until the confusion caused by a Safety Car deployment and Nathanaël Berthon’s pace in the Sprint Race means that both drivers will be looking to finish at the top this weekend.
Below Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering, looks back at Silverstone and forward to Hockenheim:
Thomas, Silverstone was a rather difficult weekend for the Racing Engineering boys. Especially Fabio's dominance in qualifying and the race must have made the lost victory a very bitter pill to swallow.
Motorsport at the top level is hard, sometimes cruel, there is only one winner. There are often many more factors behind each situation than seem obvious on TV screens from the outside. Everything needs to be right to achieve a victory and there are many aspects to be prepared for, controlled and monitored during an event.
Unfortunately, there are also many external parameters that can’t always be under the control of the teams and drivers. Changes of climatic conditions, accidents, penalties, pit-stop problems, misunderstanding of team orders, safety-car periods etc. are examples of the factors that have and will continue to influence motorsport and will keep the result uncertain until the chequered flag, which is what makes it exciting and interesting for everyone.
Most of the teams prepare strategies before the race in order to be ready to face different scenarios but, even then, it is not possible to predict exactly what will unfold.
Talking about such preparation, how do you prepare a weekend at Racing Engineering?
At Racing Engineering we want to provide our drivers with the best professional solutions to the technical challenge of setting up the cars and to be able to adapt ourselves to each situation. All the preparation is done in a methodical way and the decisions to be taken during a race have been previously studied, discussed and agreed on.
We have taken a series of decisions during Silverstone's feature race as a group and it was based on numerous parameters including tyre wear, the weather forecast, reviewing lap times of several cars on track and the gaps between cars etc. but obviously not everything can be anticipated, no one could predict that a safety car would be deployed on lap 19 when Fabio just passed the pit entry.
I guess it might be fairer for the sporting results, if the Safety-Car could be deployed in a way that doesn’t affect the classification, but we understand that safety is more important and therefore it is not always possible to deploy it while giving the same opportunities to react to all the drivers and teams.
In our case, 2-3 seconds earlier would have certainly given enough time to Fabio to pit, keeping the order of the leading cars and confirming the strong performance that Fabio and the team have shown this weekend.
We know that Racing Engineering is usually very strong in wet conditions and Fabio was really dominating qualifying and the race on a wet track. Now it looks like there is a big chance that it might rain at the Hockenheimring this weekend. Do you prefer rain or shine?
Generally it is better to have dry conditions, if you are confident with the preparation done as it leaves fewer possibilities for unpredictable events and any gambles. Also the work for the team is simply more pleasant when it's dry.
But having said this, we know we have been strong so far under wet conditions and therefore believe we can achieve good results regardless of the weather conditions. For Nat his first race weekend in the rain with the GP2 car was two weeks ago in Silverstone and certainly it wasn’t easy for him.
He had to learn quickly, which should have its effect next time he races in these conditions.
With the Hockenheimring being a rather fast race track, what are the expectations for this race weekend? Where do you see the Racing Engineering drivers and who do you think will be their biggest competitors this weekend?
There are very few opportunities to set a fast and clean lap in qualifying, so it will be as hard as always. Many drivers and teams have shown a good potential on some occasions this season, so we expect the top 5 drivers and teams to be fighting for the top spots in qualifying and races, even though both Lotus GP drivers have been handed grid penalties for race 1.
The track layout itself is a combination of slow areas, such as the "stadium", and some long straights, which means the set-up is therefore a compromise. It is also the first time we will race at Hockenheim with the Pirelli tyres, so there will be some new aspects to analyse regarding performance and tyre wear.
Taking all this into consideration and knowing that Fabio has always qualified in the top spots this season with us, we will continue to work into this direction and consequently expect him to be in the top 5. Nathanaël hasn't been able to show all his potential so far in qualifying, but we believe he will improve during the next events and hope to see him scoring points again in both races.
Round 6 of the 2012 GP2 Series takes place this weekend at Valencia and in what seems such a short space of time the season reaches its halfway point. This year the GP2 Series has already proved to be very competitive, the ten races held s weiter >>
Nathanaël Berthon drove the perfect race today in the Barcelona Sprint Race, starting from 4th on the grid he battled hard throughout the race to finish 2nd and take his first podium place in GP2.Weather conditions were different t weiter >>
In an excellent qualifying session for tomorrow’s Feature Race at Barcelona Fabio Leimer qualified second fastest and Nathanaël Berthon tenth for Racing Engineering.The 30 minute morning practice session took place in warm, sunn weiter >>
This weekend sees the second round of the 2012 GP2 Series take place at the 5.412 km Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain as part of the F1 Grand Prix event. The circuit is a mixture of slow and medium speed corners with several fast straights so chassis set-up will be important to set fast laps and win the race.T weiter >>
Nathanaël Berthon, who participated in the GP2 Asia Series with Racing Engineering in 2011 is about to start his first full season in the GP2 Series with the Spanish team.Following on from the two recent GP2 pre-season testing sessions at Jerez and Barcelona, where the young Frenchman showed that he has the pace to be competitive from the start, Nathanaël weiter >>
The GP2 teams will be travelling to Spain’s Jerez circuit for three days of testing starting on the 28th February.The 4.428 Km Jerez circuit is located in the South of Spain near the city of Jerez de la Frontera and its tight, twisty natu weiter >>
Spain’s Racing Engineering is looking forward to getting back to racing action at the 2011 GP2 Finale to be held on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi as part of the F1 race weekend.As is normal for GP2 Series racing there will be two races weiter >>
Following on from the opening round of the 2011 GP2 Series held two weeks ago at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey the GP2 teams now move to Barcelona in Spain for round two.Although the results achieved by the Racing Engineering team and its two drivers, Germany’s Christian Vietoris and Spain’s Dani Clos, were not as good as had been ho weiter >>
With just a month to the start of the 2011 GP2 Series Christian Vietoris talks about his off-season preparation and his expectations for this, his second season in GP2 with Racing Engineering. weiter >>
The next two races in this year’s Asian GP2 Championship will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain, and Spain’s Racing Engineering team are looking forward to the challenge of racing once again in this very competitive series.Last week saw the opening two races in the 2011 Championship were a series of misfortunes, outs weiter >>
Following yesterday’s troubled race both Racing Engineering drivers found themselves starting from the back of the field with Nathanaël Berthon in 19th spot on the grid and Dani Clos in 24th. Dani Clos found himself in trouble as he lined up on the grid for the formation lap when, as had happened yesterday, he stalled which meant that he would have weiter >>
26 cars lined up on the grid ready for the start of today’s race at Yas Marina with Racing Engineering’s two drivers lining up fourth, with Dani Clos and tenth, with Nathanaël Berthon. As the red lights went off and the cars began to race the car of Dani Clos had stalled on the grid, at first it looked as if the other cars had managed to weiter >>
The first round of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series gets underway on Thursday at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi where the first race weekend will take place on the 4.73 kms layout. Following on from four days of intense testing at the track Spain’s Racing Engineering team are confident of getting off to a flying start in what looks likely to be a very compe weiter >>
Racing Engineering are pleased to confirm that their drivers for the 2011 GP2 Series will continue to be the very strong pairing of Spaniard Dani Clos and the German Christian Vietoris whilst for the upcoming GP2 Asia Series Dani Clos will be partnered by promising Frenchman Nathanaël Berthon.Dani Clos is starting his third season with the Spanish Racing Engineering team and, f weiter >>
The four days of testing at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi are over and with it the 2010 GP2 season. It was the last time the Dallara GP2/08, the car Racing Engineering’s Giorgio Pantano won the championship title with, was officially used in GP2. Back in Spain, Racing Engine weiter >>
After the first two days of testing, Racing Engineering will resume the action in Abu Dhabi this weekend, with the last two days of testing of 2010 taking place this Saturday and Sunday. The evaluation of young hopefuls continues, this time with Roberto Merhi and Brendon Hartley behind the wheel of the Spanish team’s Dallara GP2 car on day 1. On Sunday, the 28th of November, it will be Al weiter >>
Rodolfo Gonzalez, Andrea Caldarelli and James Jakes were the three drivers Racing Engineering put at test during the first two days of winter testing at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Rodolfo Gonzalez, who competed in the 2010 GP2 Series, quickly adapted to the Racing Engineering car and finished the test day in an excellent 4th position. Andrea Caldarelli, the young Italian w weiter >>
Racing Engineering will be present with both its cars at the first two of the final four test days before the end of the 2010 GP2 Series season. The impressive Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, where 2010 the season finale was held just a week ago, is where new drivers behind the steering wheel of the Racing Engineering GP2 cars will put their skills to a test. During these firs weiter >>
Saturday’s feature race finally brought the rewards of the hard work by the entire racing Engineering crew. Dani Clos had a great race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, increasing his chances to finish the championship in third overall. After yesterday’s penalty, which meant the Spaniard dropped from second to eleventh on the grid, Dani took courage and had a race on the attac weiter >>
Dani Clos, Jules Bianchi, Pastor Maldonado, Sam Bird, Jerome d'Ambrosio and Giedo van der Garde were handed 10 place grid penalties for Saturday’s feature race at the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina circuit for having “exited the pitlane against red light”. The incident happened once the session was over and all six drivers were decided to have failed to stop at the pitlane exit. weiter >>
Racing Engineering had an action-packed race at the Hockenheim today where Dani Clos, who started from fifth on the grid, was running in fourth place for most of the race. The young Spaniard crossed the finish line in sixth position securing one more point for the drivers’ championship. Christian Vietoris, who started from the last row of the grid after yesterday’s early retirement, weiter >>
Spanish team Racing Engineering has had a day full of mixed emotions with the difficult conditions at the mythical Hockenheimring today. With free practice being held on a drying track, both Racing Engineering drivers showed their skills setting the fastest and third fastest time of the session. Just when qualifying was to start, heavy rains set in and turned the session into a lott weiter >>
With Silverstone being the latest venue for the 2010 GP2 Series and everyone heading towards the Hockenheimring in Germany, this season's halfway mark has been passed. Spanish team Racing Engineering is currently fourth in the teams’ standings and Spaniard Dani Clos second in the drivers’ championship. We are looking at the first half of the season and talk about the exp weiter >>
Racing Engineering had another strong day at Silverstone, where the fifth sprint race of the season took place this morning.
Dani Clos scored yet another podium, the second of the weekend, by finishing third. After a magnificent start and a race always on the attack, weiter >>
Racing Engineering’s Dani Clos is heading to Silverstone, where the fifth round of the 2010 GP2 Series is taking place this weekend, being second in the championship standings. However, the young Spaniard is not looking back at the great results he achieved so far this season. He regards each new race weekend to come as a new challenge on his task list, where things start from zero after weiter >>
Racing Engineering had a difficult day at the Valencia Street Circuit today, where despite all the efforts made by the whole team, no points were scored. Dani Clos, who started in fourth position, finished in seventh place, whilst Christian Vietoris had to retire after colliding during the first lap of the race. Sunday’s sprint race at the Valencia Street Circuit started with weiter >>
Racing Engineering’s Dani Clos, starting from 11th position on the grid, had a great recovery in an action-packed race at the Valencia Street Circuit today. Quick overtaking maneuvers during the opening laps, a very fast pit stop and intelligent driving were the ingredients necessary for the Spaniard to finish the race in 5th position. Team mate Christian Vietoris was having a good race, weiter >>
Racing Engineering had an eventful day in Valencia today. Christian Vietoris, who never raced at the Valencia Street Circuit before, finished today’s qualifying session in eighth place after battling traffic all session long, whilst Dani Clos, who was unable to run in the morning practice session because of an electrical problem, was eleventh fastest. Both Racing Engineering drivers are t weiter >>
Racing Engineering achieved the team’s first win of the season in today’s sprint race at Istanbul Park. Dani Clos climbed onto the top spot of the podium for the first time in GP2. The Spanish driver, who started from pole, had a trouble free race to achi weiter >>
Racing Engineering had a challenging feature race at Istanbul Park today, where high temperatures made tyre management the crucial point. Dani Clos, who started seventh on the grid, suffered from excessive tyre wear and struggled to eighth position, whilst Christian Vietoris, starting from eleventh position, finished seventh and scored his first points of the 2010 GP2 Series. The Racing Enginee weiter >>
Racing Engineering had an intense day at Istanbul Park, where Dani Clos qualified in seventh position on the grid for tomorrow’s feature race, after encountering traffic and yellow flags during his best runs, whilst rookie Christian Vietoris qualified in eleventh position after suffering from engine problems during both Friday sessions.Hot and humid conditions welcomed the GP2 weiter >>
Racing Engineering had no luck in today’s sprint race in Monaco. Christian Vietoris was unable to start the race due to a problem with his engine, whilst Dani Clos, who finished on the podium yesterday, had to retire after an accident.Cloudy but dry weather conditions welcomed the GP2 field today for the sprint race which, due to the unusual Monaco timetable, took place in the weiter >>
Racing Engineering’s Spanish driver Dani Clos finished third today in the feature race in Monaco, round 2 of the 2010 GP2 season. German driver Christian Vietoris, who startes from eighth position on the grid, managed to finish 14th, after a difficult race in which he had to start from the pit lane.Cool temperatures and a cloudy sky with a timid sunshine welcomed the GP2 drive weiter >>
Racing Engineering’s Dani Clos achieved a brilliant pole position under difficult conditions in today's qualifying session in Monaco. After an intense battle Pérez and Maldonado on a wet track, Dani snatched his first pole position in GP2. Christian Vietoris, having encountered traffic during his flying lap, finished in a commendable ninth place after his first day ever at the pres weiter >>
The GP2 teams had only three days time to travel from Barcelona to Monaco and prepare the cars for the legendary street circuit of the Principality at the Côte d’Azur. Racing Engineering, after scoring in both races of the opening round of this year’s GP2 championship, hopes to carry on with its strong performance in Monte Carlo.
Racing Engineering had a tricky day in the sprint race at Barcelona, on the first weekend of the 2010 GP2 season. Local hero Dani Clos, who started sixth, scored a point after an intelligent race, whilst rookie Christian Vietoris, who started on the last row, finished in 18th position, after a complicated race.
Spanish team Racing Engineering had a tremendous start to the 2010 GP2 season in Barcelona today. Local driver Dani Clos, who started from 7th position on the grid, took third place in the feature race. German rookie Christian Vietoris, who started fourth and had high hopes for the race, had to retire after an incident at the first corner.
Racing Engineering started the 2010 GP2 season on a very good note, after a satisfactory qualifying session in Barcelona. Christian Vietoris achieved the fourth position overall, making his GP2 debut from the second row of the grid. Teammate Dani Clos finished the qualifying session in seventh position, thus underlining Racing Engineering’s excellent form during the first qualifying sessi weiter >>
Racing Engineering’s Christian Vietoris is looking forward to the 2010 GP2 season to start. The German rookie will make his GP2 debut with the Spanish outfit this weekend in Barcelona. Showing his competitiveness during the pre-season testing, he is facing this new challenge in this career with clearly defined goals and a lot of determination.Christian, the f weiter >>
Racing Engineering wrapped up the last day of pre-season testing in Barcelona with an excellent show of authority. Just a month ahead of the start of the 2010 GP2 season at the Spanish track. Both Racing Engineering drivers convinced with their consistent performance. German newcomer Christian Vietoris confirmed his ascending form during these three test days weiter >>
Both Racing Engineering drivers took up their duties at Barcelona for the second of three test days at the Spanish circuit. Like yesterday, the weather conditions were not ideal and low temperatures characteristic for the day. Racing Engineering’s rookie Christian Vietoris, had yet another strong day, running in top positions during the entire morning session and realizing a lot of produc weiter >>
Racing Engineering had a positive and busy day in Barcelona, on the first of three days of what will be the second and last pre-season test before the 2010 GP2 season starts. Under changing weather conditions, German rookie Christian Vietoris showed a very strong performance, running in top positions during the entire day and finishing the morning as well as the afternoon session in third place weiter >>
Alfonso de Orleans - Borbón, president of Racing Engineering, awaits the start of the 2010 GP2 season with both titles as a targets. Ahead of the final pre-season tests, having kept Dani Clos for a second year and with the addition of the promising young German driver Christian Vietoris, Racing Engineering is working very hard in getting prepared for a season in which they will be one of weiter >>
Racing Engineering enjoyed another positive and constructive today on the third and final day of pre-season testing at Paul Ricard. German rookie Christian Vietoris, very convincing during the previous two days at the French track, had another strong performance finishing the morning session in third and the afternoon session in fourth position. Team mate Dani Clos, focusing on set up work, was weiter >>