DRIVER NEWS: Maro Engel continues his 2007 British F3 campaign this weekend, at a brand new street circuit in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Engel is one of only two drivers to have won a F3 race this season and currently stands joint second in the drivers’ championship. After winning the opening race of the season and finishing fourth and seventh at Donington, Engel heads to Romania with a total of 42 points.
With a four week break in-between events, the Mercedes backed driver has been busy training and testing. Engel also took time out for a promotional event at Mercedes-Benz World in the UK last weekend, where the young German tested Mercedes-Benz road cars on the handling track and the wet skid circle alongside his Carlin team mates.
The 3.1km Romanian circuit will be a new challenge for the 21 year-old German driver and for the rest of the F3 grid. Commenting on the new track, Engel said, “It’s awesome that the British F3 championship is going to Romania. Street circuits are always amazing and this track looks particularly fast. I think it’s great for the championship and everyone will enjoy it. From the circuit maps we’ve seen, the track looks quite fast, there are a number of quite long straights and a couple of chicanes.”
Engel added, “I really like street circuits, I had a good race at Pau last year, so I’m hoping this circuit will be similar. I don’t really have any expectations ahead of this race. We have aims, we always aim to win, but with no experience of the circuit and a very competitive field, it’s hard to have expectations as such.” With little track time before first qualifying on Friday afternoon, Engel is keen to be on the pace from the first practice session, commenting, “There will much more of level playing field in Bucharest as the track will be new to everyone. I think the drivers who learn and adapt to the circuit quickly will do well. It will be a real challenge for the teams to find a good set up and improve quickly. I’m very confident in my team and engineer and know that they will manage to find the right balance for the car. Qualifying for race one will take place on Friday, so it will be important to be competitive quickly."
Engel take to the track for the first time on Friday at 9.00 local time, with little chance to make improvements before first qualifying at 15.15. Qualifying 2 will take place at 08.15 on Saturday followed by Race 1 at 11.55. Racing action will resume at 10.45 on Sunday