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GP Week : Issue 38
Arden impressed with GP2 upgrades > F1NEWS> of the season, it has also been refreshing to see FOTA stand firm. A group of companies and of men united in the past only by their competitive desire to beat each other, has weathered the first of what is sure to be a number of political storms. And it has done so with forthright conviction and aplomb. But the cracks are already starting to appear. With protests over three teams’ interpretation of the 2009 diffuser regulations likely to be the talking point of the Australian Grand Prix, the greatest threat to FOTA’s unity may yet come not from the rule- makers, but from within their own number. ARDEN International Chief Engineer Mick Cook has praised the improvements made by to the GP2/08 car by Series organisers and the combined efforts of Renault and Mecachrome over the winter, ahead of the final pre-season GP2 test of 2009 in Barcelona this week. “The car has undergone some changes over the winter, most notably the engine spec, and we were impressed with the improvements,” Cook reflected on the team’s first run with the new car at Circuit Paul Ricard two weeks ago, where improvements are thought to have netted the GP2 cars an extra 20-25 bhp across the entire engine range. “It’s a definite step in the right direction from GP2.” Cook was also impressed with the first major outing for his two main series drivers Sergio Perez and Edoardo Mortara, the 2008 F3 EuroSeries Vice Champion. “I think we were probably more competitive at Ricard throughout the test than perhaps we’ve been in the past. It’s not a big secret that we’ve never been particularly competitive there, but overall it was quite promising and a good test for us.” Mortara, too, was happy with his progress with the team, for whom he also races in the GP2 Asia Series. “My aims for 2009 are already clear. I’m not looking for the title yet but I want to do the best I can for Arden,”he said. “The first few races will be hard, but I want to improve and I want to learn. I’m trying to get better every time I sit in the car, and that is my main aim. “I already feel integrated with the team at Arden and I have a great relationship with all the engineers. Everyone is pushing in the same direction and I’m very satisfied with the work we’re doing. Together with my new performance engineer, Marcus Dudley [formerly of Honda Racing F1], and Arden’s Chief Engineer Mick Cook, we are already a strong team and that will be a very positive thing for the 2009 season.” Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 13