In an in-depth interview with Ingram GP, William Ingram spoke exclusively to F1FVGPC.com about this season, next season and his ideal driver for next season.
F1FVGPC interviewer Lenny McDonald: Hello! First off, well done on the first points of the season.
William Ingram: Thanks, we've worked really hard and I'm really pleased we've finally started to get some reward.
LM: As we enjoy the mid-season break, how would you rate the season so far?
WI: If we rate it from entry, it's been disappointing, as it's a new championship and clearly we haven't built a competitive car. Since pre-season testing I'd say we've done well, it was obvious then we'd struggle and the whole team has responded magnificently.
LM: I'm going to ask this question even though I already know the answer, standout performance for Ingram this season?
WI: Without a doubt Diego in the US, he was fantastic. My most vivid memory is when Diego was leading a pack of about 5 cars going into the first corner. He was third at the time, I remember thinking "surely we can't sneak a podium?". We didn't but 6th is a great result and we were all very happy with the result.
LM: And a lowpoint?
WI: The Canadian GP. 15th and 16th meant last and second last, and it was the first time we'd really fallen off the back of the pack. It was looking really bleak at the time and we were seriously considering abandoning this year's car, but we didn't and we still have a shot at 9th with a bit of luck.
LM: Lets talk next season, what are your expectations for next year?
WI: We have to be realistic, we aren't going to suddenly jump up the order! We hope to challenge for points more regularly, especially considering our new partnership with Franklin and Honda.
LM: I wanted to ask about the partnership, what are some of the finer details?
WI: Well obviously it's confidential, but it general terms Honda will provide us with an engine that Franklin decide the direction of the engine. We hope to use some of their facilities as well.
LM: You will have to go next season without the services of talented Argentine Jonas Phipps, how do you feel about his departure?
WI: Well, before the US GP most would have argued he has been better than Diego this season, and we always knew it would be a struggle to keep him. When Franklin and Fun started bidding for him, we initially matched them, and I can say now we would spent up to £1.5 million on him. But Lucas bid £3 million and that was that. Lucas is a good guy and I'm sure Jonas can flourish and I have no doubts that he will be a race-winner.
LM: Wow, high praise indeed! Who do you plan on having in the cars next season?
WI: Well at the moment we are the only team yet to announce drivers for next season, and in some ways I'm surprised so many deals have already happened! Drivers like Powers and Giodano are clearly brilliant and it's no surprise that they've secured contracts, but seeing Agostino and Thunder already secure drives is surprising.
LM: An interesting point, but you didn't actually answer my earlier question!
WI: (laughs) You noticed! Well, considering our current position on the grid, we are looking for a driver capable of that spectacular drive. I'd much rather have a driver who'd finish 8th in 3 races and struggle in the rest, than one who finishes 12th every race. Obviously if we challenge more next season then consistency will be important.
LM: Do Campos and Agretha fit that description?
WI: Diego has proved he is capable of the spectacular, and he will certainly pursue that avenue. We hope to give Eddie a few practice sessions later in the year.
LM: So maybe a rookie?
WI: We are certainly looking closely at the junior series, particularly Yohan [Dubois] and Christos [Lostovolos], but clearly there are some talented drivers in the series.
LM: Perhaps your own son, Fernando?
WI: Well we'll see about his performances in the Touring Car season, but I know he wants to drive at the top level at some point, and I'm sure he will at some point. Next season - no.
LM: Finally, if you could have any two drivers (except your own) drive for Ingram GP?
WI: Oooh, a toughie. I'd have to say Puccio Giodano and either Nathaniel Powers or Jean Mattson.
LM: Thank you for your time today.
WI: A pleasure.