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GP Week : Issue 62
did about six or seven days of testing with Renault, this year it's zero for all the test drivers and reserve drivers. It means the same to be third driver, but actually driving the car is really important for us as drivers." With the initial answer out of the way, he sets his own topic for discussion... "It would be much more fair if you were allowed to test before you get into the car," he states, matter of fact. "For Alguersuari, for Romain, for Badoer and even for Michael [Schumacher], for any of the drivers that are supposed to be a reserve, if you are a reserve it means you have to be ready to have equivalent performance as your team-mate or at least be familiar with the car. Now, with the testing restrictions, Romain didn't test the car in proper conditions on a proper track at all, so either you do this with simulated development and you spend money this way, or they change a little bit and make the third driver drive the car more, at least so he'd be used to the environment and to the car in case he needs to drive. I hope they will think about it more carefully now with Badoer being so far off what he was supposed to be." It's a fair point. OK, what next Lucas? "In my personal view I would say that it is easier to put a limit on the budget and then the teams can be free to use the money as they wish," he continues. "If they want to do more testing and less development or more testing and less simulator or vice versa then it's up to them to chose what is best for them, so long as you have a budget control. What we don't want is for budgets to increase. F1 doesn't want this to happen and for a big difference to appear between the big and small teams. I think it would be possible for the next years and I hope testing can come back for the young drivers." Giving an opportunity to young drivers is something that di Grassi believes is crucial for the future of the sport. Of course, he has his own interests in mind when he makes such a statement as he is one of a number of drivers looking for their way into an F1 seat. But for the Brazilian, that shot may finally be about to come his way. And when he talks of his chances, it's with that same matter of fact response, born out of true belief. "I think in GP2 I'm one of the guys with the most experience and good results. I've been in GP2 for three and a half years now and while I have won races with many teams and I helped to develop the current car for the championship, what I think is most important is that I have a little bit of Formula 1 experience already. Being a reserve driver in Formula 1 last year, I was able to follow the development of the team and test the car for five or six tests and also test the Honda car at the end of the year. "I think I could use this and everything I've learned over the years to help the new Formula 1 teams. But the decisions at the moment have not been made and as we know it's very complicated to get into F1. Now with testing regulations as they are, the teams prefer to stay with drivers who have experience rather than go for new young ones who cannot test and develop the car as they wish. "Let's see how it goes, but I'm pretty confident that I'll be there next year, with an F1 team. I'm already in discussion with two or three teams, including the new ones, and I have very good past results with them. "With Campos I won the GP2 constructors' championship for them last season, beating my team-mate Petrov with almost double the points in only half a season, and with Manor I won Macau, practically the world championship of Formula 3, with them and it was the only title they won in recent years so I have very good contact with them and I hope they consider that when choosing their drivers." Are you listening John and Adrian? That's about as much racing as we actually manage to discuss, as the rest of our chat focuses on his new pet project. . . a stupidly fast go-kart. "It's just a toy for myself," he smiles. "I'm trying to get a 24