Racing Engineering has confirmed its GP2 driver lineup for 2011. Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris will remain with the team for the 2011 GP2 Series, while Clos will be partnered by rookie Nathanael Berthon for the upcoming 2011 GP2 Asia Series.
Spaniard Clos will be driving for the Spanish team for the third consecutive year. After finishing fourth in the 2010 GP2 Series standings, the 22-year-old will be aiming to win the championship. Prior to that, Clos will aim to take the honours in the three-round GP2 Asia series.
“It’s incredible that at this time people keep backing me and give me their confidence to do another GP2 season with a team like this,” said Clos. “I’m proud to be here again with Racing Engineering and with them I want to make our dream come true and win the championship.
“It’s a key moment for me and my career and to have the support I’ve got is really nice. I want to say thank you to all the people who are helping me as without them I couldn’t have get where I am. This year I’m giving my all to achieve my target and I’m going to do it.”
German Vietoris drove for Racing Engineering in his maiden GP2 season in 2010, finishing ninth in the standings and scoring one victory in the Monza sprint race. This turned out to be the end of his season as he missed the Abu Dhabi finale due to appendicitis. Although the 21-year-old will sit out the Asia Series, he will return to the team for the main series, where he too will be hoping to fight for the championship.
“I am really looking forward to my second year in GP2 with Racing Engineering,” said Vietoris. “We are a well attuned team and meet all requirements to fight for the championship. We were able to show what a strong pairing we were last season and therefore the objective for 2011 has to be the championship title.”
Vietoris' seat in the Asia Series will be taken by Frenchman Berthon. The 21-year-old finished seventh in his debut season in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2010. He is pleased to be making his GP2 debut with Racing Engineering.
“I am very happy to be able to do GP2 Asia with Racing Engineering,” said Berthon. “It's a very human team, where after a few words you already feel like you are part of a family. I am convinced that together we will work well and I will quickly evolve as a driver with the support of this team in order to fight against the best. Last year was my first year in World Series by Renault and I achieved several podiums and won. I approach GP2 with the same motivation and want to be on top with a very strong team.”
The 2011 GP2 Asia Series, which gets underway in Abu Dhabi on 11 February, will see the Spanish team making its debut in the Asia Series. It will also be the first time that the new-for-2011 GP2 car will be raced.
Team boss Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon commented: “It's been some two months ago since we tested in Abu Dhabi and since then the entire Racing Engineering team has been working non-stop on the preparation for the 2011 season, which starts in a week's time. A new Dallara GP2 car with a new gearbox and Pirelli Tyres has kept our team busy and we are eager to see the insights gained next week with Dani and Nat in our cars. Dani and Racing Engineering have proven to be a strong combination and it was only an injury in 2010, which kept Dani from finishing the championship on top. We are delighted to be able to work with a driver of Dani's qualities in both GP2 Asia and the Main Series. There is no doubt about the objectives given his performance in 2010.”
He continued: “GP2 rookie Nathanael will join Dani for the Asian rounds of the championship. He is a promising upcoming driver, who, although does not have many years of racing under his belt, has shown a very steep learning curve. For the Main Series, Dani will be joined by his 2010 team mate Christian Vietoris. Both are experienced drivers, who are extremely talented and won races last year. Therefore it is clear that both are aiming for the title win and we will do whatever is possible to make this happen.”