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Racing Engineering aims to bounce back in Monaco.

After a disappointing start to the defence of its GP2 Series drivers' title, Racing Engineering is simply targeting finishes in this weekend's Monaco double-header. Uninspired as that may seem, however, it may be the key to both drivers opening their accounts for the season.

Team owner Alfonso de Orleans-Borbón found it hard to countenance leaving the first of the Fat Burner-backed team's 'home' rounds in Barcelona completely empty-handed, but has already turned his attention to the most unpredictable event on the calendar in an effort to ensure his squad kick-starts its campaign.

"We had a very good base to start with [in Barcelona] - we saw that in qualifying - but then we decided on small changes that did not help in the race," he admitted, "When we went back to what we knew worked for Sunday, Dani [Clos] got the fastest lap of the race and Lucas [di Grassi] was able to go from the back of the grid to tenth. Although not ideal, we know what needs to be worked on for the next race."

di Grassi goes into the 2009 season as one of the hot favourites to succeed Giorgio Pantano as champion, not only having fought his way to third overall in a part-season in 2008, but also after dominating large swathes of pre-season testing, while rookie team-mate Clos looks capable of defying the step up from F3. Apparently unconcerned by the Brazilian's performance in Spain - acknowledging that the 'problem' he had in race one had been 'solved' - de Orleans-Borbon also had reassuring words for his young protégé.

"I think Dani is a very well-rounded rookie, possible the best rookie the team has every had," he noted, aware that predecessor Javi Villa remains in GP2 - at Super Nova - four seasons after being similarly highly-touted, "But, at the same time, he is young and needs to work at getting up to speed.

"I think that, by mid-season, Dani will be battling for a podium. He is extremely talented and only needs to get some miles under his belt. Remember, this is GP2, it won't be easy and he needs to work hard at it."

Monaco, therefore, would not appear to be the best venue to tackle next up in a rookie campaign that needs track time, but the veteran team boss accepts that the Principality is a law unto itself and quite capable of providing the sort of result that could transform a season.

"In Monaco, anything can happen," he pointed out, "Normally, if a driver manages to finish, he is usually in the points, so keeping away from those barriers will be what our drivers should watch out for.

"Qualifying is important since it's quite difficult to overtake so our approach will be to qualify as well as possible and then finish well. Really, you cannot do much else at such a track."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dani Clos - Racing Engineering   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi - Prema Racing
Pierre Gasly - Prema Racing
Norman Nato - Racing Engineering
Pierre Gasly - Prema Racing
Jordan King - Racing Engineering
Jordan King - Racing Engineering
Mitch Evans - Campos Racing

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