Bobby Issazadhe is the man behind Performance Racing, Sweden's only international single-seater team. Issazadhe has led the Gothenburg squad more or less since its foundation in 1999, when he bought out an IT company who initially invested in the outfit. During the last decade, Performance Racing has competed in everything from British Formula 3 (where Issazadhe himself took part in two races back in 2001) to A1GP The World Cup of Motorsport, but since 2008, German F3 has occupied most of the attention. For the 2010 season, Felix Rosenqvist will be one of the team's drivers.
Mattias Persson: What can Felix provide Performance Racing with?
Bobby Issazadhe: Felix will provide Performance Racing with good results and, in the long-term, race wins and titles!
Mattias Persson: What has been your impression of him since you began your discussions?
Bobby Issazadhe: We got a very good first impression of Felix during our test day together in Valencia in December. Felix was 100 % focused on the job, knew what he had to do and was well-prepared. Despite some terrible weather, the team was pleased with what he did. We also had the pleasure of watching him driving in good conditions later the same week and were very impressed. We talked to Felix several times while in Valencia, and felt that this is a driver determined to make a career out of racing - a driver worth committing to!
Mattias Persson: You have a completely new driver line-up this year, with Alon Day as Felix's team mate. Both are F3 rookies, but how high are your hopes for the season?
Bobby Issazadhe: That is correct, for the last two years we have had the same drivers. Despite both Alon and Felix being F3 novices, they have shown that they are capable of winning races and championships in Formula Renault, which makes me very optimistic. I think we will see a very positive development curve for both our drivers, but they do need a few races to get used to everything - some Formula 3 experience, to put it simple. I'm hoping for podiums and victories eventually!
Mattias Persson: What will be the biggest challenge for Felix in the step from Formula Renault?
Bobby Issazadhe: Technically, it will be getting to grips with the very sophisticated aerodynamics of a Formula 3 car. An F3 machine develops significantly larger quantities of downforce in comparison with the Formula Renault that Felix has driven before. This, in combination with new circuits to learn and the fact he will be up against drivers with much more F3 experience than himself, makes it a serious challenge for Felix, despite his talent.
Mattias Persson: In 2010, Performance Racing celebrates its ten year F3 anniversary. You have followed Formula 3 closely for the last decade - how does the German championship compare to other national F3 series?
Bobby Issazadhe: We did some races in German F3 already in 2003, and I have followed the progress first-hand since. In my opinion, the championship has now evolved to a level which easily equals British F3 in terms of professionalism of the top teams and drivers. The highest F3 division is still the Euro Series, but the future looks very shaky there as a result of very high costs. German F3, quite on the contrary, gets stronger and stronger every year due to successful cost control programmes from the teams and organisation. This season will be the best in many years; competition will be nothing but fierce!
Mattias Persson: If you could single out one ingredient which describes Performance Racing's strength, what would you chose?
Bobby Issazadhe: Our strength is our experience and knowledge! Personally, I've got a lot of routine as a driver on both two and four wheels, but also as businessman and team owner. The combined experience and skill of the team's key personnel is our strength.
Mattias Persson: What's the first thing you will say to Felix and Alon Day when they get in the car for the start of the first race in Oschersleben?
Bobby Issazadhe: Whatever they need to hear to feel like winners..!
Mattias Persson: Performance Racing uses engines from Volkswagen in a German championship for Formula 3; a category VW has focused heavily on during the past three years. Last season's champions, Van Amersfoort Racing, has the same deal. How involved are the Volkswagen factory in German F3?
Bobby Issazadhe: They are very involved. Kris Nissen, the director of Volkswagen Motorsport (VWM), personally visits several races each season and takes himself the time to talk to each of the Volkswagen drivers. One should not forget that VWM operates a very large motorsport programme and that their success depends just as much on which drivers they chose to put in the cars as on the material they use. They are always on the look for new talents and know that especially German F3 is a place to watch.
Mattias Persson: Finally; what's the situation like regarding testing ahead of the season?
Bobby Issazadhe: The first part of our testing schedule is set. We will begin with a shakedown at Silverstone on March 12 and follow it up with two days at a testing facility in Wales where we can work through practice starts etc. uninterrupted. After that, we will join the official tests on some of the circuits that make up the championship, and it currently looks like it will be a number of two-day sessions at Assen, Hockenheim and Oschersleben.