Following a two-day test at MotorLand Aragon, Nicolas Lapierre prepares to head to Silverstone, where he will take part in the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship alongside Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima. He gives us his impressions…
Nicolas, what are your thoughts heading into this 6 Hours of Silverstone race?
“It will be important to finish the race. We must take a step forward in terms of reliability. If we don’t encounter any problems, we hope to be on the podium and not far from victory. We saw at Le Mans that we’re in the game.”
Having led at Le Mans, does this change your approach ?
“We knew we’d be in the fight in terms of pure performance and that we had good potential. From that to being in the lead at the Le Mans 24 Hours is something else. We have a new aerodynamic spec and our objective is to take the fight to Audi. It will be a sprint race: full throttle from start to finish. We only have one car, but we will attack and hopefully have tough battles like at Le Mans. We want to push Audi to the limit.”
What can you tell us on the new aero package?
“It’s not the same philosophy as at Le Mans, and that’s normal since the tracks are different. We tested the evolution at MotorLand and the first impressions were positive. The Silverstone circuit, and the rest of the WEC circuits, require more downforce and that’s what we have. I hope we will be competitive, knowing that we can count on our hybrid technology, which we saw performed well at Le Mans.”
What about Silverstone itself ?
“I like Silverstone. I was successful in my last two outings here, with a win in 2009 and a second place in 2010. It fits well to the LMP1 cars of today. I’ve always enjoyed this circuit: those great corners such as Copse and the Becketts complex are still there.”