24 July 2009
de Orleans-Borbon happy with season
Fat Burner Racing Engineering president Alfonso de Orleáns-Borbón insists that his team has not gone off the boil after clinching last season's GP2 Series title with Giorgio Pantano, despite having to give best to other squads in the first half of 2009.
When Lucas di Grassi joined the line-up, many predicted a repeat of 2008, but the Brazilian has so far failed to make the sort of impact his predecessor enjoyed and now trails standings leader Nico Hulkenberg by 20 points with five double-header rounds remaining. de Orleáns-Borbón, however, refuses to accept that there has been any drop-off in terms of form within his operation, which sits third in the teams' championship, and believes that both di Grassi and rookie team-mate Dani Clos can be factors in Hungary this weekend.
"This is a very competitive championship, where it's very difficult to always be on top," he pointed out, "But, saying that, we have a very good car which our drivers are happy with. It's also very reliable. Sadly, they just keep on having bad luck and drivers running into them, which obviously doesn't help with getting points. There's not too much we can do about it. I am just surprised that the penalties are not harsher for incidents like that.
"Overall, we are doing what is right, so I am not too worried. Both drivers are great to work with. They understand what it takes to win.
de Orleáns-Borbón also insisted that there was no extra strain on either di Grassi, despite his inclusion among the pre-season favourites, or Clos, even though the Spaniard has so far failed to get the sort of result that his race performances might have merited.
"Again, I don't think others are putting pressure on him - he just wants the best possible results and it must be frustrating when drivers crash into him," the Spaniard mused, "The good thing about Lucas is that he can switch off and get the job done. I think this differentiates him for the rest of the field.
"We have to remember too that Dani is one of the youngest in the field. He has a lot to learn still and never makes the same mistake twice. He has tremendous talent and is one of the quickest drivers I have ever met. His time will come - and sooner rather than later."
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