Carlin will make its official debut in the GP2 Series this weekend, as the first race of the 2011 season gets underway in Istanbul, Turkey. Max Chilton and Mikhail Aleshin, who both raced for Carlin in the GP2 Asia Series, will join the team for the opening round of the season at Istanbul Park this weekend.
Both Chilton and Aleshin competed with Carlin in the GP2 Asia Series earlier this year, which took in rounds in Abu Dhabi and Imola. Chilton has since built on his opening form in Asia with some consistently quick times in testing at Silverstone and Barcelona and is in a confident mood ahead of this weekend’s support event to the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, Chilton said, “I’m feeling really confident. I had quite a good race here last year and we’ve been consistently on the pace in testing; never out of the top ten. It’s been wet here so far, so I think we could have an interesting weekend ahead of us if the rain continues.
“Istanbul is a fairly high speed circuit, especially the famous turn 8 which is challenging, especially for the tyres as it’s a long loading corner. The track is also quite undulating, which means that there are a lot of blind corners and crests. That will also make it more interesting if it’s wet as there could be quite a bit of standing water. Wet or dry I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It would be good to get some points on the board in the opening round.”
Team mate Mikhail Aleshin added, “It’s a great opportunity for me to do this race. I would like to say a big thank you to the team for giving me this chance. I have a good feeling about this track; I had my first podium here with Carlin and I’m sure we will be pushing hard to repeat that experience again this year. The weather could be a big factor this weekend but for sure we have a team that can deal with the changing conditions and I’ll be pushing to do my best as well.”
Racing Director Trevor Carlin added, “This is a very exciting moment for Carlin; our first European GP2 race. We’re very proud to be here and aim to do a professional, competitive job. Max and Mikhail are both very talented drivers and like this circuit, so we have a great starting point for our debut in the GP2 Series.”