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Circuit Paul Ricard. 02 June 2020
May 15, 2004
The Phoenix F1 team were in buoyant mood following qualifying for the Spanish GP. With Daniel Wilkinson joining the Race team for the first time, the line up of Wilkinson and Irisarri has to be potentially the strongest yet in the teams short existence. And Qualifying confirmed that both drivers are right on the pace, both within 2 tenths of a second of each other.

Daniel Wilkinson confirmed that he was disappointed with his lap:

"A couple of mistakes in the second sector have cost me a few places on the grid. A top five in the race will be a great result."

Meanwhile Antonio Irisarri was oozing with enthusiasm for the Race itself:

"My lap was smooth I only brake late at turn 8 and I lost some time in last sector but the car is real good. Phoenix team is really working hard and are confident with new driver Daniel Wilkinson - he is very fast driver so team has new blood for the race - that's real good.

Phoenix team is looking strong for race - both cars are in very good shape my setup is very good on race. I'm a little concerned of tyre wear especially left front tyre, I have good top speed so I'm not concern passing cars in the straight. If one of Phoenix cars is not in the podium it wiil be too bad - we need big points and Daniel is a winner and I hope he boost me up my level of driving."

Clearly Antonio sees the experienced Wilkinson as a perfect partner to help increase his race pace. And remember, Daniel was impressed at Irisarri's pace in 2003, especially with the poor BHP output of the Renault at that time.

So what did team boss Andy Graydon think of his teams hopes in the race?

"Obviously strategy is key to the race, and I know that our team strategy is covering different options in order to provide the team with a good opportunity to reach a podium here in Spain. I'm not going to let on what our fuel strategies are, but come race day I think that the opposition could be surprised! Good or bad, I won't say!"

"Ideally I would like to see at least one of our drivers in the top 3. Antonio nearly made it at Imola - and but for a recurring problem slowing him down in the corners I think he would have achieved that. The problem is we have Whiteman to beat who is fast here. Mikko says he's struggling, but that could be the Mapes-VO team playing mind games. And of course there is Shiro Ryong in 13th on the grid - but who took his first ever F1VWC victory here last year! Then of course there are the MMC Racing boys and the unpredictable Wagner for Puma F1. Nothing is guaranteed. It's going to be tough - but we are up for the challenge."

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