Racing Engineering will kick-start its defence of the GP2 Series title this weekend in Spain, with a new-look driver line-up leading the challenge for the team in 2009.

Lucas di Grassi and Dani Clos will share driving duties for the team in a strong driver pairing, with team boss Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon admitting the main focus was on defending the drivers' crown won last year by Giorgio Pantano...

Q:
Alfonso, the new GP2 season will kick off this weekend in Barcelona, how well prepared is the Fat Burner Racing Engineering team?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
Just as prepared as last year. We really have not changed anything since it worked out so well with Giorgio (Pantano). But that does not mean we are just sitting back waiting for results. We had quite a bit of work to do this winter.

Q:
In March two tests sessions took place, the only ones before the start of the 2009 championship. Are you pleased with the results?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
I can say that they went quite well. The most important point is that everyone was able to work quite well with the new drivers. Not many days for testing, but I am sure that we have been able to get enough information to start the season on the right foot.

Q:
When the test sessions take place so long before the beginning of the season and with no chance of having any more, how does a team like Fat Burner Racing Engineering get ready for the championship?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
With hard work. (big smile)

Q:
This year the team has a completely new line-up. Surely this has its ups and downs...

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
Yes and no. Lucas has a lot of experience, so no need to really teach him anything; on the other hand Dani is young and needs to still learn. But both are extremely committed and know what it takes to win. So new drivers, but same objective.

Q:
How would you evaluate the performance of these two new drivers so far? What feedback have they given to the team?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
Both are very good at feedback, both are very fast. What is also good is that both know each other quite well and have shown that they can work together. These strong points play in their favour.
Last season you won the drivers' championship with Giorgio Pantanto.

Q:
Surely that was a great achievement for the team taking into account the great competitiveness of the GP2 Series...

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
We consider it as a great achievement, that is true, especially since it's possibly the most competitive championship currently around. But on the other hand, to be competitive you need to do things in the right way. We did that and the results show. I also have to say that Giorgio was spectacular last year. I don't understand why he did not win the championship previously. He is so talented and deserved the title.

Q:
What do you think of the fact that previous GP2 champions made it to F1 without any problems, and Giorgio Pantano could not?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
The economy has changed and many teams needed drivers that had to bring a budget to race in F1, unlike the last few years. Something Giorgio does not have. It's a real pity. He is so talented!

Q:
Fat Burner Racing Engineering is not competing in the GP2 Asia Series. Do you think this is an advantage or a disadvantage?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
There are advantages and disadvantages, but I personally think that we are very well prepared. Like last year, we had the possibility to concentrate 100 per cent on the main series and our boys work from the moment a season finishes on the preparation of the upcoming year. This was no disadvantage for us last year, I would say on the contrary. And I don't see a reason why there should be one in 2009.

Q:
What is your aim for this season?

Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon:
To win the driver's title like in 2008. If we win the team title as well, fantastic, but it's not our main objective.

 

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