Monday, 11 February 2013

Interview with Scuderia Ferrari F1 driver Davide Rigon

Currently racing GT cars for the Italian marque, Davide Rigon is the only two time champion of the Superleague formula series in addition to also racing in Formula Renault and Formula 3 earlier in his career. Alongside his racing exploits, Rigon devotes time to the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team where he develops their racing cars both on track and in the Simulator.

Davide Rigon recently took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for DW Motorsport.  

  • Dominik Wilde: After a tough 2011 with your injury, how did you find returning to driving?

Davide Rigon: It was really exciting. Initially it was a bit painful because my leg hurt, but after a few months, I soon found the right feel for the car and was back to a hundred percent.

  • DW: Do you feel your injury in 2011 has had any bad effect on your career?
DR: As far as my driving style is concerned, not at all, in fact I’ve even found new limits. As for my career, I don’t know, but I’m sure that that year I had a great team which would have allowed me to fight for the GP2 title and so I want to say that Scuderia Ferrari always stayed close during that bad time and gave me the opportunity to go in the simulator just three months after the accident.

    Rigon currently races Ferrari GT cars
  • DW: Was it difficult to adapt to the Ferrari GT car in 2012 after racing single seaters for so long?
DR: At first I struggled, but then I soon got the hang of it. I have to confess that the limits are very different and the GT car requires a special driving style and therefore a different approach to the races because in this situation you have to concentrate and try and perform consistently in very long races.


  • DW: Currently, you are a development driver for Scuderia Ferrari. What does your role consist of? Many people don't know what a development driver does, are you able to give us an insight?
DR: My main role is developing the car in the simulator, as well as driving at aero testing and last year I was also able to continue the development of the Formula 1 car at the Young Driver test at Magny Cours.

    Rigon won a Superleague title in 2010
  • DW: You are the only two time champion of the Superleague Formula, how do those cars compare to F1 cars?
DR: First of all I have to say that they were two very exciting championships, the Superleague Formula is a very powerful car, but at the same time, it’s heavier than a Formula 1 car, which makes it slower but physically harder to drive.
  • DW: You drove in the young driver test at Magny Cours last season, how was this experience? Was your test all about developing the car for the race drivers or did you get the chance to drive as you wanted?
DR: Driving a Ferrari Formula 1 car was unforgettable and it’s really incredible how different the limits are compared to other cars. In the work I was doing for the team, I tried to carry out everything I was asked to do. In the morning, in the first few laps, I was left to find my limit as well as make a few set-up changes.

    Rigon behind the wheel of the F2012
  • DW: Was there a big difference between your first F1 test in 2005 for Minardi and your Ferrari test in 2012?
DR: Definitely yes, when I did the Minardi test I was definitely not prepared physically and the test was only over 20 laps. However, with Ferrari, I was much fitter and I also had enough experience to understand what were the right settings for the car and was able to work in the right direction for the team. For me it was incredibly satisfying to have completed 175 laps without making a mistake.

  • DW: Ferrari have a big team of drivers, is this a good thing? What are the other drivers like to work with? 
 DR: There are different roles within Ferrari, and it’s definitely an honour to be part of the Scuderia and that motivates me for my work in the simulator.

  • DW:Which drivers in Ferrari do you work with the most?
 DR: In the simulator I share much of the work with Pedro De La Rosa and Andrea Bertolini and then exchange information with the race drivers.

    'Driving a Ferrari Formula One Car was unforgettable'
  • DW: As an Italian, it must be a huge honour to work with Ferrari. What are your feeling every time you go to Maranello?
DR: Definitely, it’s a great feeling, which motivates me to always do my best for the team.

  • DW: What are your plans for the 2013 season?
DR: For the moment, I’m spending a lot of time in the simulator and on physical preparation to be ready for any eventuality. I hope I can race in a good championship in the Ferrari GT.

  • DW: Outside of racing, what do you like to do?
DR: Mainly, I like training in karts, as well as cycling, tennis and I love planes.

  • DW: What car do you drive on the road, away from the track?
 DR: I’ve got a lovely Giulietta.

  • DW: What are your aims and dreams for the rest of your career?
 DR: My dream is still to race in Formula 1, but I’d also like to win a lot of races with the GT car. 

I'd like to say a massive thank you to both Davide and Renato Bisignani at Scuderia Ferrari for granting my this interview and assisting me with it.

Images have been taken from Davide Rigon's Official site as well as f1fanatic from their coverage of last years young driver test. no copyright infinfringement is intended and any images can be quickly removed upon request.

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