Filippi disappointed not to get Honda test role

Honda s 2008 car the RA108Luca Filippi has admitted that he is disappointed he did not land the job of tester at Honda, but has said he is not too upset at losing out to Austrian driver Alex Wurz.

Filippi race in GP2 in 2007 and was signed to Honda as part of their young driver programme. This contract means he gets at least two tests during the 2008 season with the team. Filippi was hoping that he had a chance of landing the role of test and reserve driver, however the team decided to go with the experience of Wurz instead.

“After the second test at Jerez in December, I had good hopes that I could have what now is Alex s role,” Filippi explained. “But the arrival of Ross Brawn changed many things.

“In the past, Honda brought up young drivers like Rossiter and Davidson, but Ross wanted an experienced driver who already knew other teams. It makes sense to me: Alex last year was at Williams, who did better than Honda. And after I met him, I found him to be a fine person.

“We have a one-year contract that includes at least two days of testing, even though the expectation is for a lot more,” he said. “There’s also a technical training course and a minimum of two days a month to be spent at the factory. And there’s the chance of me driving in the Grands Prix, even though the role of reserve driver is not specified.

“While it’s a limited program at the moment, it’s a great opportunity. It’s one thing what Renault do in their young drivers programme in lower formulas, while it’s quite another to put at the disposal the cars, the tyres and the track-time. It’s a huge investment.

“At the moment I must think about Asian GP2 and then about the European championship with ART. I couldn’t take part in intensive F1 test sessions, because they would take away too much time for my training and preparation.

“People like Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have already demonstrated that you can arrive from GP2 and leave your mark immediately in F1 too.”