Ferrari takes F1 to Norway


Ferrari took F1 to Norway at the weekend, Marc Gene attending the annual Motorfestival with an F10.

On Saturday, over 14,000 fans packed in to the Rudskogen to watch the Spaniard complete two series of laps, ending with a handful of burn-outs which met with an enthusiastic reception.

"It's the first time I've been to Norway and I've been given a very nice reception," he subsequently told the team's website. "As a driver, it's always nice to see the crowd having fun. I didn't know much about this track: I'd only seen a video of another Formula 1 car that had already run here and I have to say it's really fun to drive a single-seater here!

"You don't come across many tracks like this anymore," he continued. "I'm struggling to imagine that Hermann Tilke designed it, given those that bear his name in Formula 1. Here, it's as though you are on a rollercoaster: it's a real pleasure to drive a single-seater here, because there are lots of external reference points like trees and the rocks, which make you realise how fast you are going, a bit like at Monza and also partly at Spa."

On Sunday, rain was not enough to spoil the party as over eight thousand fans braved the weather for the second day of the festival, clearly more used to the adverse conditions at this time of year than the F1 Clienti engineers and mechanics.

Even if the wet track obviously limited the top speed and also that in the corners, Gene still tried to push the F10 on the two runs he did, the second when the rain got really heavy.

"Naturally, one goes a bit slower in the wet, but I think the spectators were still able to see what a Formula 1 car can do," said the Spaniard. "This track is really enjoyable for a driver, even in these conditions. There are places where it's really nice to go flat out, especially as one doesn't often to get to drive on a track with these characteristics, with significant changes of gradient, medium speed banked turns and very nice surroundings."

In a subsequent press conference, Gene was asked about the 2013 championship which resumes this weekend.

"We know that the situation in both championships is not what we were hoping for," he admitted. "But we are also well aware that in Formula 1 the situation can change very quickly. We are a significant way behind in both classifications, but we are definitely not throwing in the towel.

"We had a very good start to the season, but then, in the early part of the summer, we suffered a bit in terms of car development and our rivals moved ahead of us. In the last two races, the situation improved and, if this improvement is confirmed in Singapore, a very different track to Spa or Monza, then we can really be in the fight all the way to the end."

Naturally, the hot topic was the return of Kimi Raikkonen. "I want to start by saying how important Felipe has been to the history of our team," said Gene, "but I can also say that Kimi's return is good news. Along with Fernando, they will make a very strong and experienced pairing, the only one on the grid made up of two world champions. The team knows Kimi well and he knows the team too: I am sure he will be able to do a very good job with us as from next year."

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Published: 16/09/2013
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