Valsecchi, Razia and Grosjean discuss the race
GP2 Series: Davide, fantastic drive for your first win of the season, although it didn't look easy: how was it out there for you?
Davide Valsecchi: Today was perfect! Yesterday we were a bit disappointed because the car was incredible but we missed the podium because we had mechanical problems, we missed one gear for two or three laps and I went five seconds slower in these laps and I lost third position and was fifth, far away, and there was no chance to finish third. But anyway, today we got the victory and we saved the situation! I am really happy because I made a good start when I needed it, I made a really good first lap, and then the team gave me a good car: mid race it was a good car, at the end it was a perfect car!
We were fast enough to make a gap to the others and make a victory, and today was really, really good. It's a shame that we caught a victory maybe a bit too late, because we had the chance to win in Istanbul and lost it, the chance to be competitive in Valencia and I took a penalty, we had the chance to win in Budapest when we started at the front of the grid and had a mechanical problem. So maybe it's a bit too late, but we're happy now that we've won it.
GP2 Series: You had pressure from Razia throughout the race, and it looked like his car was a bit faster: how hard was it to deal with him today?
Davide: Really the situation was that he started second and my pace was okay and I was running 51.7 and it looked like it was okay, so they said keep pushing in this way, and for the first ten laps keep going at 51.7 every lap. But then it was not enough because Razia was catching me, but I saw that when he got closer he spent all he had to reach me, and then he'd used everything already: this was my feeling, and we he was there I started to run maybe three tenths better and he had difficulty to keep with me. So I thought if it's like that then at the end I can still move away, and it was lucky that in the end the situation was like this, and I started to do the low 51s and make the gap and move away a little bit, and have something in the pocket that we didn't need to spend.
GP2 Series: It's been a bit of a tough season for you and the team, but this weekend has been great with a pole, a win, a podium and some more points: how much of a difference has it made to the team?
Davide: The team, I hope, we could catch fourth place in the championship, because they were pushing me to make it. It was not so easy because after winning Asia I would expect to change a page in my career, if you understand what I mean, and it was enough maybe to finish top five in Europe and then I would have a chance to test in Formula One next week instead of being at home and looking at the results on the internet. So I was really disappointed because I had a good chance and I didn't spend it at all, but in Asia it was different because my car was so perfect, and in Europe we threw away too many chances. It's been a shame, but I hope to have another chance to be the best next year.
GP2 Series: Luiz, P2 today after a strong drive and piling a lot of pressure onto Valsecchi: happy with how it went?
Luiz Razia: Oh yeah. I knew that the start was the main opportunity to win this race, and actually I had a good start but I braked a little bit too late in the first turn, I went wide and I lost my first position to Valsecchi, who did a pretty good start, and actually was there. In the middle of the race the car was fine and I was trying to keep the tyres as slow as possible to have to the end, but the Valsecchi car was pretty good: I put a bit of pressure on in the middle of the race but it was not enough to overtake.
The team told me that Perez was out, so I was trying to secure the team championship as well, so I did not try to do any crazy overtake (laughs), and in the end it was quite good. The tyres came to me in the end and I tried to do the fastest lap, and I think I did, I'm not quite sure, and it was a good race.
GP2 Series: It looked like your car was much faster than Davide, you'd get onto his rear but then it seemed you couldn't do anymore: was that the case, or were you being conservative?
Luiz: Yeah it was the case, because I tried to overtake him but I did not try to move: I was catching him and I was anxious to overtake him but it was not possible. It's difficult when you are behind cars and you don't have any downforce, so in the first sector it's very useful to be close to the car for the main straight, but actually after the first corner I was far behind and it was not possible to overtake him: it was the maximum I could do in this race.
GP2 Series: Nevertheless it was a strong podium after a bit of a trouble mid-section to the year, and it rounds out the team's championship: the boys must be happy with you today...
Luiz: Oh yeah, the mechanics are very happy, the team and everybody. It has been a very tough mid season for me, the beginning was very good and yesterday I could have finished on the podium except we had a problem, but it's very good to be back on the podium today.
GP2 Series: Romain, great job for a podium today which probably replaces the one you expected yesterday: happy with the result?
Romain Grosjean: Oh yes, it's always good to finish the season on the podium. It's good for the team, for the mechanics, myself: we worked pretty hard working all weekend on the set up for this track, but I guess there is still things that we need to understand. But it was a good weekend, and finishing on the podium is always good.
GP2 Series: It was set up very nicely for you at the start, but there were a couple of problems in the first few turns: how was it from inside the car?
Romain: My start was pretty good but unfortunately Razia over-braked and he brought me with him on the outside, and there wasn't anything I could do, and then he came back on the track very strong and I had to brake or there would have been a massive crash. I was a bit annoyed after the start because I don't think it was really sportive to do this, so maybe we should put some gravel on the outside there!
GP2 Series: Nevertheless a good podium for you and the team: how has the team felt about the improvement in the second half of the season?
Romain: You have to ask them!