GP2

Asia: Abu Dhabi: Race one press conference

GP2 Series: Davide, congratulations on a job well done today. How do you feel? Davide Valsecchi: I feel fantastic! This is the perfect start of the season: pole, win and fastest laptime! Had somebody told me this would happen two weeks ago, I ...

GP2 Series: Davide, congratulations on a job well done today. How do you feel?

Davide Valsecchi: I feel fantastic! This is the perfect start of the season: pole, win and fastest laptime! Had somebody told me this would happen two weeks ago, I would have thought that they were crazy... I knew if I was given the chance to drive a competitive car I could do good things. And with iSport, things are going extremely well and this win is a fantastic result for me and for them.

GP2 Series: Yesterday you said that you were a bit worried about the start. As a matter of fact, you had a slow one and lost the lead to Sam Bird...

Davide: It wasn't the best of starts, but not so bad. I have had worse! I lost just one place today. I was quite confident that the car was quick enough to overtake at some point and it happened early enough. We got the lead after that and it was good. I managed to pull a good gap. Luca was coming back strong and I made a small mistake just before my pitstop. But I stayed on the track. The safety car coming in after my pitstop was a small problem. It helped Luca a little bit to keep the lead, but we came out on top in the end after I passed him. It was a big fight! We stayed side by side for a long time, but then, I could pass. I think we touched a little bit, but nothing major. It was a very good fight. I liked it!

GP2 Series: You had an amazing pace again today. Still, you had to fight for this win as you lost the lead twice. How difficult was it?

Davide: To be honest, I was never too worried. I was always confident because we knew we had a very good pace. It was quite difficult to get passed Luca, but in the end it worked out well. At the end of the day, we had enough pace to win the race.

GP2 Series: What are your objectives for tomorrow?

Davide: You have to aim for the win, but it will depend on traffic on the first lap. But I think that if I can stay out of trouble I have a good chance to go at least for the podium.

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GP2 Series: Luca, great racing today.

Luca Filippi: Jakes had a very good start. And he managed to be P3 and at the same time, I was side by side with an Arden car. My start was not fantastic, but anyway out of Turn 1 I was P4. I managed to get Bird at the end of Lap 1 and Jakes in Lap 2. It was quite a good move. After that my pace was really strong. At the beginning of the race, I was fastest and closing in on Davide who also made a mistake in the last corner before coming in for his pitstop. I stayed out one more lap. My team made a good pitstop but I pushed really hard into the tunnel at the pit exit. I took some risk, but I managed to be fast and came out P1 behind the safety car.

GP2 Series: Did the deployment of the Safety Car helped you stay P1?

Luca: Not sure. We made the difference in the pit entry and the exit. Plus we had a good pitstop. I personally think that Davide could have kept pushing at that moment without any problem. As long as you are not following the safety car which was his case, it's fine to push. Of course, he was still on cold tyres... I don't know. I was happy to be P1 and I thought after the restart that I was faster than Davide. I pulled away a little bit but then his pace was much better. I tried to defend my position, but then he made a good move, a bit risky, but nice. It was fair from both sides.

GP2 Series: After that, it looked like your pace dropped...

Luca: I had some problems with the downshift. I wasn't braking as late as I wanted. I just managed to keep my position and not pushing to hard. I was being careful with my gearbox. I simply pushed a bit harder when Jakes came closer. I couldn't to anything to catch Davide again.

GP2 Series: Was it the same problem as you had yesterday during qualifications?

Luca: Not exactly. Yesterday, the car felt really good. I've only done five laps, but actually it's only two flying laps. Still, I finished with the fourth best laptime. Then I had a gearbox problem at the finish line. For sure, with another lap or with a new set of tyres, I could have improved my laptime. Still, all things considered, I was happy with this result. And today, this podium is a great reward for me and Meritus. They are still a new team and they work very hard to get good results. Let's see how things will go tomorrow.

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GP2 Series: James, congratulations on your podium. Strong start!

James Jakes: I just got a really good start. Even though with Leimer gone and Rodriguez stalled, it was a great start from seventh to second. I had to avoid Rodriguez and still ended up in third. I think my start would have been even better if he could have gone off the line and I could have gone straight. I always knew we would be quick in the race. With my start, I could go up to the front really quick. Qualifying has been the area where we struggled a little bit. We haven't managed to get fully on with the tyres and to get the best possible use out and I knew in the race we would be pretty strong.

GP2 Series: You couldn't hold off Filippi?

James: I passed Filippi at the hairpin as he made a mistake. At the second hairpin I made a mistake and braked too hard, damaging my tyres. I wasn't sure about the braking in the next corner and that's how he got passed me. From then on, I had flat-spotted tyres and it's quite difficult to manage. The car was vibrating a lot.

GP2 Series: Why did you decide to pit before the pair in front of you?

James: Well, you know what? It didn't work out really well. The safety car came out just when I put in a purple sector after I crossed the finish line on the outlap. It was looking good, but the safety car came out on that lap and I wasn't able to maximise the potential of the tyres which could have jumped me to P2. After that it was the case of holding position, really. I got a few looks at Filippi. He had a really big battle with Valsecchi at one point. It was difficult for me on the braking because of the tyres.

GP2 Series: Third and fifth place for Super Nova today. What is your objective for tomorrow?

James: I want to get some points again so that we can call it a successful weekend really. Obviously, I would like to get onto the podium again, but just points would be good. I think you can be a little bit more aggressive in the Sunday race because there are no pitstop. It should be good I think.

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers James Jakes , Sam Bird , Luca Filippi , Davide Valsecchi