Luciano Bacheta sure late Auto GP deal no hindrance for 2013

2012 Formula 2 champion Luciano Bacheta is optimistic his late deal to compete in Auto GP will not hinder his season prospects

Luciano Bacheta sure late Auto GP deal no hindrance for 2013

The Briton's move into the series was only announced in the week leading up to Monza's season opener this weekend, but after completing his maiden laps of the Italian track on Friday is confident he will not suffer too much as a result.

"Literally everything is new, but in the last couple of laps I got into the rhythm of it," Bacheta said after recording the fifth fastest time in Friday morning's first free practice session.

Despite missing pre-season Auto GP testing, Bacheta has kept sharp over the winter by finishing third in the Indian-based MRF series and testing for GP2 newcomers Russian Time at Barcelona earlier this month.

"Unfortunately, I hardly did any running in the GP2 test at Barcelona," he explained, "but it's not so much a problem of being out of a car, rather learning this car and the tyres.

"A shakedown would have been nice just to get the belts right as they're snagging a bit, but I'm sure we'll work on that."

Bacheta said that he had been closing to sealing a GP2 drive in 2013, but is confident Auto GP will still improve him as a driver.

"We were very, very close to signing initially with iSport - that was the plan," he added. "From the end of the F2 season that was what we were working towards constantly. That fell through around the time iSport said they weren't racing this season.

"We decided rather than go into something and struggle to complete the year, I would do this. I think I can learn a lot in Auto GP.

"If you see what [2012 Auto GP champion Adrian] Quaife-Hobbs did last year, I think it was a big benefit [to him]."

Bacheta last raced at Monza in the 2012 F2 season finale, when he clinched the title courtesy of a third-place finish.

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