GP2

Asia: Bahrain II: Race 1 press conference

GP2 Asia Series: Luca, congratulations for this fantastic win. How does it feel? Luca Filippi: I feel great because I really wanted a win. So far we had shown that we had a good pace, but we could never go all the way. I really wanted to make ...

GP2 Asia Series: Luca, congratulations for this fantastic win. How does it feel?

Luca Filippi: I feel great because I really wanted a win. So far we had shown that we had a good pace, but we could never go all the way. I really wanted to make another step on the race pace especially in the end. Today we had the right set up. Everything was in place. And we've had the perfect weekend so far: pole, win, fastest lap. The car is fast, reliable, easy to drive and consistent. This is what I wanted to achieve. Two weeks ago, we tried but we couldn't be as consistent as we wanted, but today I am really content.

GP2 Asia Series: Just before the safety car, Valsecchi was closing in the gap. Did that worry you?

Filippi: During the entire race, I was always concerned about Valsecchi because in the past races he has always been able to finish on an even stronger pace. He is incredible fast in the last ten or fifteen gaps. I pushed hard to keep a gap between us, but I was also careful with my rear tyres and not destroy them before the end of the race. When my team told me he was catching me, I pushed in the lap before the safety car. It was quite a good lap, not the fastest, but good enough. So I saw that my pace was still strong and I was able to keep that pace until the chequered flag. Then, with the safety car, of course this put him closer to me, but I managed a good restart and then I pushed 100% until the end and I made two fastest laps. This meant that we kept a bit of rubber this time for the end of the race. I looked at them after the race and they look beautiful and exactly how we wanted them to look.

GP2 Asia Series: What about tomorrow?

Filippi: It will be tough. I know I'm fast, but I know that I will have to be careful in the first two laps. Of course, I think I have the chance to overtake people and scored some points again. I'll try to make a good start again. I don't think we will change the set up of the car for tomorrow.

GP2 Asia Series: With thirteen points scored in two days, you are now second in the drivers' standings. I have heard that this may be your last appearance in a GP2 field. How important is it for you to finish Vice Champion?

Filippi: It is very important because GP2 is a Series that everyone is watching. All the best drivers are coming to this category. To finish the Series with a win and in the Top 3 overall is important because at the end of the day that's what people will remember when you are trying to find another seat. Of course I would love to race in GP2 again, but I hope my future is in single-seaters because that's what I'm good at.

GP2 Asia Series: Davide, you say you always have problems with starts, but you seemed to do just fine today...

Davide Valsecchi: Yeah, it was okay today. That's a first. It wasn't perfect because a car almost overtook me, but I braked perfectly in the first corner and then I was able to take second place. It put me in a good position to try and win the race. But, Filippi was a bit stronger today...

GP2 Asia Series: But you were closing in on him after your pitstop...

Valsecchi: Before the safety car I almost reached him. But then came the safety car and it changed the situation a bit. And usually after the safety car came in, it was usually the best time for me to win, but today was a bit more difficult. Anyway, the new part of the track... it's not so fantastic... It is very slow and I think it was harder on my tyres than on the previous layout. What I mean is that I couldn't drive as smoothly as usual. At the end, I could not get the same advantage that I usually had this season. So, Filippi was a bit better in the end and he deserved to win. But we finished second and we proved that we are competitive in all sorts of situations and every track. We are quite happy to be there.

GP2 Asia Series: After your pitstop, you managed to fend off Pic on cold tyres.

Valsecchi: Yeah. But, we were close. Before the pitstop I was two or three seconds in front of Pic. When I came back onto the track, Pic was already there. Our team made a good job during my pit and I found it strange that Pic was already there! I think he pitted three laps earlier than me. It was very close, but I was a bit lucky and maybe a bit more experienced to stay ahead of him in the first corner.

GP2 Asia Series: You have had an amazing season so far finishing six times on the podium out of seven races. Do you think you are in a position to end the season once again on the podium tomorrow?

Valsecchi: Every time we have had a chance to win, we have won. It was important for me to win the championship last time on a win. And we did. For tomorrow, I hope we can finish on the podium because it is such a good feeling to be up there. Your only aim when you race is to finish in the points, but when you reach the podium it is extra special. If I can tomorrow, I will go for it, but it will not be so easy because it is not so easy to overtake on this new layout. The new part is very slow. But anyway, we will see tomorrow and we will check our pace.

GP2 Asia Series: Charles, what happened at the start?

Charles Pic: The first impulse was good, but then I had some problems with the clutch. So I lost some ground and after that I tried to protect my position and I went to the right part of the track. But Valsecchi and Parente chose the left and overtook me at the first corner. I was able to pass Parente again very soon after that in turn 4. I tried to push hard to overtake Valsecchi but he was faster than me. So I tried my best to stay close to him and to manage a gap with Parente behind me. The only solution to pass Valsecchi was to have a better strategy for the pitstop. I think my team chose the best one, but I was unlucky: I was behind Rosenzweig I think and lost some time... So I stayed third. Mid-race, it was very hard for me because I started to get blisters on both hands. When I saw the safety car, I knew it was going to be very hard for me. I pushed hard at the restart to keep Parente at bay and to make sure I would finish on the podium.

GP2 Asia Series: When Valsecchi came out of the pits, you ran alongside of him in Turn 1. He was on cold tyres but yet, you could not overtake him...

Pic: I think he did a good job and I did a bad job. I chose the wrong strategy: I wanted to overtake him later and prepare the exit, but it was the wrong choice. I had to brake later to overtake him at the entry. Next time, I will make a better choice. It's a shame because second place was within my reach. Still, I'm happy with third. We will start sixth tomorrow. I think we can still improve a bit the car. We have some ideas with my engineers. I'm sure I can also improve my driving but at least I have resolved my problems in turn 17 and 18!

-source: gp2 series

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Luca Filippi , Davide Valsecchi , Charles Pic