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The perfect race of Giorgio Pantano in Monza

Da una storia di Gabriele Ferraresi
Very few Italian drivers have raced in Formula 1 in the last 20 years: one of them is Giorgio Pantano, born in 1979, and experienced Formula 1 with the Jordan team back in 2004. From a season with Jordan, he then crossed to the other side of the ocean and raced in the Indy Racing league, which was the equivalent of Formula 1 in the United States. Today Giorgio runs a kart racing team and trains young drivers, but he still remembers what it’s like to live a life of starting and thrilling driving moments.

Ready, set, go

Between Europe and the United States, however, there is a big difference: at the moment of the start, the Formula 1 cars start from a standstill, whereas the Indy cars start launched. "I find the start of Formula 1 a little easier than the ones where you start launched. It's more messed up, you're attacked more, you're behind each other even laterally, and above all you're moving. If you are first then you have the management of the acceleration of the start, but if you are already fourth or sixth, you are in the middle of the group and it is complicated". Like being in the middle of a ring road, but at 300 km/h.
What happens in your head when you're on the grid?
"You have to be ready for any unexpected event, I remember that I was only thinking about creating the right situation between clutch, gearbox, accelerator, and make sure that everything was perfect. That was my only thought, as well as concentrating as much as I could on the moment you go from red to green with the traffic lights off. I wasn't thinking of anything else but keeping it under control".

A start to remember

GP2 was the cadet class before Formula 1 and Lewis Hamilton drove the fastest lap that year at Monza. The fastest lap, however, is not enough: because after the checkered flag on the top step of the podium there was, Giorgio Pantano, in first place in Race 1 and Race 2.

One that I will always remember was the one I did in 2006 in GP2 at Monza: from eighth I came first in the first corner. That was one of my best starts. I did something perfect, unexpected.

Today Giorgio has stopped racing and is dedicated to training the drivers of tomorrow: "What is the most difficult thing to teach them? The effort. I would like to help these kids, but often they lack the desire to sacrifice themselves, many want everything and immediately. It doesn't work like that.

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