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GP Week : Issue 144
24 5 Minutes with ... KEVIN CECCON The Abu Dhabi test gave F1 seat time to a number of promising youg drivers. Kate Walker talks to the GPWEEK/Sutton Images-supported GP2 driver and Auto GP champion about his testing for Toro Rosso What was the highlight of your racing year? My GP2 debut and the F1 rookie test with Toro Rosso were the most important highlights of my racing year, apart from winning the Auto GP championship. What was it like running in an F1 car for the first time? It was just unbelievable, and I enjoyed it a lot. What were the main differences between the Toro Rosso STR6 and the GP2 and Auto GP cars you’re used to? A Formula One car is a big jump from anything else, but the biggest difference between F1 and GP2 and Auto GP is the power steering and the steering wheel, because the steering wheel is very light, covered with all these complicated buttons, and it’s difficult to remember what does what. Could you tell us about the differences in handling and grip? There’s just so much more grip from an F1 car, especially in the middle of the corner and through high-speed turns.. How quickly were you able to adjust to the STR6? Quickly, because I started very aggressively and I didn’t do anything wrong in the first lap. Once I went long and cut the chicane, I tried to save myself and the car was very reactive but I decided to abort the lap. Because the steering is very light, it’s easier to correct mistakes. Any highlights from your short time in GP2? Abu Dhabi, because in Race 1 I finished very close to the podium and in Race 2 I stalled at the start and I fought throughout the race – I overtook a lot of cars to the finish and ended with a P6, which was pretty good considering. Which was your favourite circuit to race on? Monte Carlo is one of my favourite circuits, but also I like Barcelona a lot. This year I missed racing in Spa. I’ve only raced in Spa with the European F3 Open, and I was at the bottom of the top ten because we had problem with the engine. Anyway, I like Spa a lot because the corners are very different – fast and slow, up and down hill. How did you celebrate winning the Auto GP championship? I had a small party with my family and same friends very close to my home town. You have signed for Coloni for the 2012 GP2 season - will you be running only in that series, or do you have other racing commitments next year? Assuming your goal is an F1 drive, what is your plan to get there? Would you take a test/reserve role to progress? I don’t know what the plan for the future is right now because my people are still working on it. You’ve just spent the weekend at the Monza Rally. What were your highlights of the weekend? I went to the Monza Rally Show because there was the presentation of the new Stilo helmet. I also use a Stilo helmet, so I decided to go there to see the new helmet for next year. Have you been given any good career advice by current or former drivers? If so, what was it? Robert Kubica gave me some advice before the Formula One test: he told me that I had to train hard, especially my neck, because it’s the hardest thing about driving an F1 car. (L to R): Stefano Zuech (ITA), Kevin Ceccon (ITA) Scuderia Toro Rosso and Paolo Coloni (ITA)