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GP Week : Issue 29
Giorgio Pantano Nationalty: ITA Age: 29 F1 Experience: Tester for Benetton, McLaren, Williams. 2004 Race Seat Jordan. Career Highlight: GP2 Champion 2008 Enrico Says: “Giorgio is one of the best drivers around. He deserves the attention of every F1 manager.” to him. It’s probably the same thing that happened to Glock, but Glock only had a couple of races and was able to come back to GP2 and win. So probably Giorgio is trying to do the same . If it can happen for Glock then it can happen for Giorgio. I know that Glock was employed on the fact that he won the GP2 title, but I’m not sure that some of the teams are looking at that. You have to look at what’s on the market and the only thing available is a seat at Toro Rosso. That’s the seat being vacated by Sebastian [Vettel] and that’s the only one that is available at the moment, on paper. When we get to February next year there might be another one, you never know, but at the moment there is only one seat, 26 and I find it difficult to think that seat will be filled by a GP2 driver. If they do, it may not be Giorgio. Not because of his talent, just because of politics and fighting against public opinion. I think he deserves the attention of every team manager. Moving on to Bruno Senna, there’s a lot of talk about him at the moment… will he be in F1 in 2009? Hey, it’s impossible to predict this kind of thing … Okay then, do you think he’s ready for F1? No, he’s not ready. He needs another year. He’s almost the opposite of Giorgio, in that he’s very inexperienced and yet he’s still quite old. He’s 25 already. Yep. But he needs another year. Do you find it interesting then that he’s being linked with so many F1 teams? There we have a driver who is considered not for talent but for the package. So I think he’s not ready. It’s the name plus what he can produce. Obviously in the car he’s a very good driver, but he’s not ready yet. He’s not Hamilton or Rosberg. [The drivers] really have to go there [GP2] and convince everybody. The moment you have one doubt, you’re out, you know? They have to convince everybody that they do it, that they dominate. Hamilton convinced everyone and went to Formula 1 and kept on dominating. Glock had a bit of a difficult year in the beginning and then started to show his talent, and Glock won almost everything in GP2, got a lot of pole positions, made no enormous mistakes … but this guy [Senna] keeps making mistakes. You find it difficult for a team manager to accept this in a team maybe of two drivers who can make mistakes. Do you think they’d rather take a young driver with potential but who will make mistakes, over somebody who has the experience? I think Toro Rosso, if they have the opportunity, could take an inexperienced driver. But an experienced driver could also be one like [Sebastien] Bourdais. If it considered he has enough experience to drive the team further, they could take a young driver. But