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Silverstone Post-Qualifying Q&A with Adrian Fernandez

 

How has the weekend been?

 

We have had a tough weekend so far starting with yesterday. The conditions were very slippery and these cars can be very difficult to drive in those conditions. I did some decent times yesterday but spun twice and again this morning. This track is really brand new for me. I haven’t been here since 1989 and everything is very different now. We didn’t test here and you are really limited to the track time you have. Trying to learn the track on a computer is really not the same and for sure the conditions didn’t help.

 

We expected to have dry weather today but it was drizzling in the morning for practice. When I took the car over from Andy [Meyrick], our new teammate, he was on wets and we put on slicks thinking it was time but it was a little bit too early. I accelerated on the back straight and spun the wheels and went sideways into the barrier. It wasn’t a big impact but I damaged the toe link and an upright. I managed to drive the car back and the team went to work on repairs.

 

Unfortunately, something was wrong with the steering arm for qualifying. I went out of the pits and the whole steering arm came loose. I couldn’t drive it. I came back in but we couldn’t fix it in time to make a qualifying run. We are starting in the back, but it is a long race so that shouldn’t be a problem.

 

I will start the race tomorrow. In terms of outright pace, we don’t have anything this year for the diesel Peugeots or Audis so the most we can aim for is to be the highest-finishing petrol car. It is really a race against the petrols for us but, in six hours, a lot of things can happen.

 

What are your thoughts on Silverstone?

 

My last race here was in Formula Fords. The place has changed tremendously. The Grand Prix circuit is nothing like it used to be before – just Copse, the first turn, and that is it. The rest is so different. I like the new layout. It is very fast, very nice. It is a long track and we are really learning as we go. With the weather, none of us have done many laps and I am sure a lot of drivers are in the same situation. Tomorrow will be a matter of continuing to learn the track and get comfortable with it.

 

What are your thoughts on the new Aston Martin LMP1 car for 2011?

 

It’s exciting. It’s an open-cockpit car, which is what I am used to. This year, I had to get used to the closed cockpit but it is never the same as having just your own helmet and visor to see. The visibility is always better so I am excited for that especially coming from the LMP2 car. I am looking forward to driving the car. The rules should be different for next year so the competition to the Audis and Peugeots should be closer than we are now.

 

We expect good things and, hopefully, we can do more races next year. We will only do five races this year and we are trying to add more for 2011. The last race I did was Le Mans and I haven’t been in a race car until the first practice session yesterday. You get rusty without any practice so the more we can drive, the better.

 


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