Carlin founder Trevor Carlin is undaunted by the task of maintaining a sporting atmosphere between his drivers, Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne, as their battle for the Formula Renault 3.5 drivers' title intensifies.
Entering the penultimate round of the championship at Paul Ricard, Vergne has closed to within 24 points of Wickens. A potential 100 points are available at Ricard and the final event at Barcelona on Oct. 8-9.
"You can see there is a lot at stake for them now," said Carlin. "At the end of the day a job is a job, all we have to do is be as fair as possible to both of them. I am here to make sure that everybody gets equal chances."
Carlin recalled the 2008 British Formula 3 season, when a final round title showdown was contested between his drivers Jaime Alguersuari, Oliver Turvey and Brendon Hartley.
"I have never had this situation, with two guys in the same team going for it," he said. "If you are watching the sectors in today's qualifying, half the time the sectors are exactly the same. That is good to see from the team's point of view, but it makes it interesting for these boys who are trying to find an edge."
Although Wickens starts three places behind poleman Vergne today, and has had a 34-point lead eroded by 10 points owing to Vergne's Monza victory being reinstated, the Canadian remains outwardly relaxed.
"I don't want to brag, but it is only the fourth time this year that he has out-qualified me," commented Wickens after qualifying.
Six drivers are mathematically able to win the championship. Third-placed Albert Costa lies some 54 points behind Vergne. Carlin sealed the teams' title at Silverstone in August.