GP2 Asia Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for Bahrain sprint race. Joining us today is Sergio Perez from Barwa International Campos Team, in second place we have Davide Valsecchi from Durango and in third place we have...
GP2 Asia Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for Bahrain sprint race. Joining us today is Sergio Perez from Barwa International Campos Team, in second place we have Davide Valsecchi from Durango and in third place we have Jerome d'Ambrosio from Dams. Congratulations gentlemen. Starting with you Sergio, congratulations. You are the first Mexican to win a race in GP2 Series. How are you feeling right now?
Sergio Perez: Well, to tell you the truth, I am really, really happy. We didn't start the weekend pretty well: I didn't know the circuit. It was quite hard for me to learn it. But yesterday, we had a good pace during the race. We made some changes on the car. We were on pole today and we maximised the position in the end. I made no mistakes at all. The car was great. I could push whenever I wanted to push and I saved the tyres so it was quite a good race for me and my team.
GP2 Asia Series: You had to cope with quite a lot of pressure from Davide especially towards the end of the race. You basically kept a 2 second gap all through the event, but by the end he was getting closer. At some point, did you worry he might catch you?
Sergio: Yeah, in the end, he really came quite close to me, especially at the corner 9. I just tried to protect my line. So he couldn't try anything. After that, I was just driving the car home because I knew that the win was mine.
GP2 Asia Series: We've seen you master overtakes since your GP2 Asia debut. Now, you've added scoring GP2 wins to your resume. What do you expect for the rest of the championship?
Sergio: It's only my third weekend in GP2. I come from F3 and this is quite a big step. I'm really happy to have won on my third weekend. This gives me a lot of confidence to approach the rest of the season and I think we will have quite a strong car for the next event in Qatar. I'm getting used to the car and to the Series which is quite different to what I'm used to.
GP2 Asia Series: Do you have anything in particular you wish to say to your Mexican fans?
Sergio: Well, I just have to say that I'm pretty happy. I haven't realised what I have done yet, but it feels great to have won on my third GP2 weekend and for Mexico it is really great.
GP2 Asia Series: Thank you and congratulations. Davide, happy birthday!
Davide Valsecchi: Thanks a lot...
GP2 Asia Series: I imagine this second place is a nice present even though you would have preferred to win. You pushed all through the event to catch up with Sergio, but you were never close enough to pass him. How do you explain it?
Davide: Yeah. It was very good today. I'm very happy for this result, but Sergio drove very well and he was too fast for me today. At the beginning of the race, he was definitely faster, but at the end, I was improving and I tried to catch him, but it was not possible. I could have taken a risk, but I thought it was better to secure second place instead of maybe losing everything. Today, he drove really well and he won. But I'm happy. At the beginning of the weekend, I was not so competitive. Yesterday, I fought a lot to finish in the points, but I was very quick. Today, the car was perfect. I made a good start to take second place, but that was my limit for today. I think I am now second of the championship. It's a great step for me here. We'll see what happens next race, but it is very important to me to be competitive and be in a position to fight for the championship.
GP2 Asia Series: You had a free track in front of you at the start after Van der Garde stalled before the formation lap...
Davide: Yeah. Big advantage. Giedo had some problem before the formation lap and instead of having three cars in front of me, there was only two. I made a great start: I was very ready at the beginning. Perez started very well as well and it was impossible for me to overtake him... Second is perfect for me. That puts me second in the championship. Kobayashi is a bit too strong, but maybe the situation can change in the other races.
GP2 Asia Series: You mean like starting from Qatar already? It will be a new venue, new conditions with the night race... Everyone will pretty much have the same experience. Do you see this as an advantage?
Davide: Maybe... But you know, the story will be different and maybe we will start from the last position [Laughs]. No, I'm very happy with my team and we are strong. We are strong in the races.
GP2 Asia Series: Alright, thank you Davide. Jerome, you know what? I know I made fun of you because of the beard, but keep it! Apparently, it makes you fly!
Jerome d'Ambrosio: Yes, today was a great race. I don't know if it's because of the beard, but... Today I had a difficult start, I lost a position. I managed to stay quite cool and relaxed. I pushed all the way through and every time I saw an opportunity to overtake, I would just go for it. Inside, outside, whichever way that worked! I believed until the end that I could catch Nico and I did it. So I was quite happy.
GP2 Asia Series: Talking about Nico, you sure put a lot of pressure on him. You think you made him crack?
Jerome: Obviously, he braked a little bit too late and went on straight. I put pressure and put myself in a position to be able to overtake him. So, whether he was going to be able to stand it or not, I didn't know. At least my job was to put pressure until the end and that's what I did. I had the pace to do it, so that's good.
GP2 Asia Series: You are now fourth in championship, closing in on the top 3. Are you aiming at the title?
Jerome: Obviously. I mean, this week was a big step for me. After the winter break, to come back and be the best performer of the race weekend... I've worked hard to approach the weekend differently than I used to do. It worked much better and now I've improved and I have to keep that momentum. I don't want to focus on the championship now or talk about it. We're only half way through. There's still a lot of work to do. I take race after race and if I continue like that, for sure I will be able to fight for the championship. We'll add the points after the last race here in Bahrain.