June 16, 2024


Fantasy Formula 1 Management

Gojira AutoSport “still in ‘catch up’ mode to the main competitors.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s Engine Manufacturer Test Gojira Autosport launched their 2016 contender during a filming day at the Sakhir circuit.

After the launch, Gojira AutoSport’s head honcho had a chat with FF1M’s lead commentator James Brickles to share his thoughts about the upcoming season, particularly on the prospects of his Mugen customers.

From All Black to All Red, Gojira’s new colour scheme.

Q: 2015 saw your team take 3rd place in the championship by just two points from GRM. How would you rate 2015?

A: I’d say moderately underwhelming. We certainly finished better than we started but the in-season testing lag we’ve had in 2014 really undermined the quality of our engine and any chances of better results. But between the Climax engine enjoying the loophole for development and lacking funds thanks to the genius of Pedersen, we have to look at the bigger picture and understand we seized what we could.

Q: What are your main aims for the 2016 season, particularly when compared to the previous season?

A: Even more consistent results. Our chassis and tyre development are still in ‘catch up’ mode to the main competitors, and we have two teams with exceptional line-ups who will be running the Mugen engine, funnily enough being better favourites than us. On the plus side, you’d be very hard pressed to find a line-up with more consistent drivers than ours. They may not be the fastest guys but they’re not going to go Pastor Maldonado on me.

Q: You’ve maintained both race drivers for this season, both of whom showed great race pace including a win for Kubica at Suzuka. Do you see either Kubica or Vergne challenging for the 2016 championship?

A: I don’t but as always, I’ll be working on the car to give them the best possible opportunities. We didn’t expect much for 2015 and even the 1992 Classic season, yet we overachieved by everyone’s accounts. That’s a testament to the work we put in. I want to see at least one of them fighting in the top 5 for the Drivers.

Q: 2016 sees both Mitchell and Pedersen return to using your engines. How would you rate their chances?

A: Better than mine! It was still baffling to see Pedersen not take Lewis Hamilton but he still has a great line-up. And Mitchell will definitely be eyeing some wins being back with Mugen. I believe – bar them pulling a Whiteley with their testing sheets – they will both end the season in the Top 3 of both championships.

Q: Moving onto your main test driver James Clark, it seems almost criminal that he didn’t get an FF1M race drive for this season. How do you think he will fare alongside former FF1M championship Jenson Button in the FGT3 Supercup series? And do you reckon he will race in FF1M one day?

A: There’s no way I’ll be rushing through the development of a chap with that name by pulling him up the ranks too soon! Had he dominated FF2M then I’d say he could have had an argument, but he needs to build upon his victories to have a more dominant season to be there in 2017.

Q: And as for Alessandro Farina, how do you rate his chances as he looks forward to his upcoming FF2M debut?

A: As fictional as the kid is, I’m very excited for his future in the series. He’s got a great backstory, his name means flour, and I believe there’s a good chance “everything will end with pizza” (but the good kind).

Q: And lastly, you’ve leant your hand at designing a few liveries on the grid. Aside from your striking new red livery, are there any other teams that look the part? (Both aesthetically and by their line-ups)

A: I don’t wish to spoil anything but be on the lookout for a team that had its first taste of success as our customer in the recent past. It should turn a few eyes. Oh, and don’t miss out on the Flying Bear either.

Regarding line-ups, Shake ‘n’ Bake and Pedersen’s will be hilarious to watch for the polar opposites in quality and results. Exolite has the ridiculous pairing of Alonso and Grosjean, we’ll just see how often they’ll actually finish a race. Mitchell will be an interesting one to watch because Cooper Lee may get a surprise podium.