With less than two weeks to go until the Formula Renault North European Zone season kicks off in Finland, Felix Rosenqvist is ready to rumble. The first tests with new outfit Team BS Motorsport have been promising, and Felix has constantly produced front-running pace together with team-mate Daniel Roos. What are the thoughts ahead of the new campaign? www.felixracing.se got the answers.
Mattias Persson: Felix, a new season is here and you will do the double by competing in both the Swedish and the North European Zone championships. What do you expect from 2009?
Felix Rosenqvist: More than anything, I expect an interesting year of racing. Of course, I would like to fight for the titles in both series, and I don't think that's an unrealistic target. I'm actually really excited and look forward to the first race!
Mattias Persson: This will be your first time in real car racing on home turf following the adventures in Asia during the last two years. What will that mean to you?
Felix Rosenqvist: I think it is going to be extremely nice to drive in Sweden as I haven't raced here since my days in national karting back in 2004. It will be fun to get to know more people involved with Swedish motorsport. Already before the season has started, I have got to know quite a few nice people that I'm likely to keep in touch with for a long time in my life.
Mattias Persson: During pre-season testing, you and your team-mate Daniel Roos have been impressive, according to Team BS Motorsport owner Lennart Bohlin. Any problems at all so far?
Felix Rosenqvist: There are always problems. There are always things to improve, so the key is not to relax and fool yourself into thinking that this or that will work automatically. We have had some minor trouble with the electronic control units on our cars, and both Daniel and myself have had probably a couple of offs too many. However, it does feel better to look for the limits in testing rather than parking in the gravel trap when it really counts, in the races.
Mattias Persson: You've tested at Gelleråsen and Anderstorp - two very different circuits from those in Shanghai and Sepang, which you've got used to. What is your opinion on the Swedish tracks?
Felix Rosenqvist: Very often, a circuit is entertaining in its own way. Gelleråsen is short with a lot of corners, while Anderstorp is a lot longer and features many sweeping, high-speed turns. I like both of them, but the biggest difference compared to the circuits in Asia is the kerbs. They are much more narrow and higher in Sweden, and the run-off areas are extremely small. Most circuits in Asia had tarmac run-offs, which made it possible to push the car to the limit without having to crash or see the chassis return to the pits in pieces. You have to respect this a lot when driving in Sweden, and it does make you think twice before going flat out.
Mattias Persson: If we keep our focus on the Swedish Formula Renault series, which is new this year, there are some interesting names on the starting list, aren't there?
Felix Rosenqvist: Absolutely, there are a number of drivers to watch out for. Christian Kronegård, who won the Swedish Radical championship last year, will definitely be a challenger. Another one to mention is Tom Blomqvist (the son of 1984 World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist), who makes his debut in car racing this year.
Mattias Persson: Many critics believe Swedish single-seater racing to be practically dead, not least in the wake of the financial crisis. What do you have to say about such a standpoint - will the championship organizers succeed?
Felix Rosenqvist: Series promoter Joakim Wiedesheim has done an absolutely fantastic job, and it feels as though he's got everything in place for a good, serious championship. I have been told there will be around 20 cars already in the first race, which is extremely positive for a new venture. There are lots of international championships with less than that amount this year, sadly. As it is right now, I'm very confident Formula Renault will be a success here.
Mattias Persson: Last but not least, which start number should one look for to cheer Felix Rosenqvist on at the races this year?
Felix Rosenqvist: 11? I can't remember!