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Interview with Williams test driver Marc Gene

January 27, 2004

During pre-season testing the foundation for a successful season is laid down. BMW WilliamsF1 Team test driver, Marc Genť, explains more about his responsibilities

Marc, you competed in your first Grand Prix for the team last year at Monza. What did that experience mean to you?
Marc: It was obviously a great experience, one that Iíll never forget. If youíre lucky enough to be given a chance like that you have to make the most of it and I think I did. I managed to qualify in fifth despite a couple of mistakes into the first and second chicanes, but that was my highest grid position in my Formula One career so I was happy. In the race, my main objective was to drive a solid race and avoid making any mistakes. Apart from losing some places in an incident with Jarno Trulli at the start, I ended the race in fifth place, and scored some points for the team, which I was really happy about.

Question: You completed an impressive 24,000 testing kilometers last year. What part of your testing duties do you derive the most satisfaction from?
Marc: What I enjoy most is doing tyre tests, especially trying out soft compounds because they allow me to put in some really fast laps. I also enjoy research projects - innovations where nobody knows whether they will ever come to fruition. That involves very close, intensive work with the engineers.

Question: Which is the best test circuit?
Marc: For me itís Barcelona, without a doubt. On the one hand because itís my home track and I can sleep in my own bed and have breakfast at home! But on the other hand, itís because the Circuit de Catalunya offers all kinds of challenging corners, which makes it a real driversí circuit. Beyond that, it is well equipped and an organised and efficient place to get work done.

Question: You obviously have to compare your testing notes with Ralf and Juan Pablo, how does that work?
Marc: If I think something we have discovered at a test is very important, Iíll ring them up. But usually weíll get together on the Thursday or Friday before a Grand Prix. Then I tell them, for example, which tyres were particularly good or how they perform on different parts of the circuit.

Question: Who comes closer to your driving style - Montoya or Schumacher?
Marc: There isnít a great deal of difference. Every driver aims for neutral handling during the set-up work, avoiding both under and oversteer. We always end up with very similar results. Perhaps Juan, who has a more aggressive style, is better at handling slight oversteer

Press Release BMW WilliamsF1 team

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