Filippi: “Auto GP is in my 2011 plans”
Luca Filippi was a key player in the maiden Auto GP season. He was 5th in the Championship despite missing the Magny-Cours round due to a clashing commitment in GP2, clinching two wins and always being among the quickest drivers on track. Now he's making plans for 2011, and he has some very clear ideas on what he's going to do:
"I'm seriously working to find a place in F1, no matter if it's as a test driver. I already did that for Honda F1 in 2008, and I think that with what I've shown throughout my career I should be linked to an F1 team today. You know, last year after finishing 2nd in GP2 Asia a Formula 1 deal seemed really close for me, so I don't feel that I can already call it quits. Anyway I must also be realistic and to be fair I can't see that happening at the moment, too many things have to fall in place. What I can say, is that if it won't be F1 then it will be Auto GP. I already have advanced talks with one of the teams, and we are very close to an agreement. In 2010 it was a really good Championship, and now they have secured a TV coverage that no other feeder series have and a partnership with WTCC. I'm really looking forward to that".
You had a very good season start, then things were messed up a bit by missing an event and a team switch. How big was the impact of that on your 2010?
"Well, I can't really said that I lost the championship due to missing Magny-Cours, because Grosjean won the title missing two rounds! Romain did an incredible job, but in Spa I clearly showed that I was the only driver that could match his pace. So in a normal season I think it would have been pretty close until the end. But then I had the call from SuperNova in GP2, and that meant missing one event and then switching team for the rest of the Auto GP season. I'm still happy of that because being part of such a great team was amazing, but working with new people always means that you need some time to get acquainted with the way they work, and this is what happened".
What where the best and the worst moment of your Auto GP experience?
"The wins were undoubtedly the best moments, and I give both the same rating: Brno was important because it was the Auto GP debut event, and I won it posting also the track record. Monza was equally important because it was the crowning achievement after an amazing job we did with SuperNova. We worked hard and trust me, the car in Monza was impressively quick. The worst moment was Navarra, when I was punted by Sims: it cost me 5 points and, in the end, third place in the overall standings".
So you will come back to chase the title that you think could have been yours already this season?
"That's not the only reason. Obviously I race to win and I know that I can be very quick on the Auto GP Lola, but mainly I want to race in Auto GP because I really loved the series in 2010. What I've seen is a car that is bloody quick, consistent and at the same time very fun to drive, and with absolutely equal engine performances from car to car, something that I think isn't guaranteed everywhere nowadays. I love the balance of the car, I know how to tame it and I enjoy it a lot. Add to that the prize money, and you can't ask for more".