Qualifying Press Conference, Dubai
GP2 Asia Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for qualifying here in Dubai. Joining us tomorrow's poleman Kamui Kobayashi from Dams, in second place we have Sakon Yamamoto from ART Grand Prix and in third place we have Vitaly Petrov from Barwa International Campos Team. Starting with you Kamui, observers were expecting you on pole in Shanghai, but they had to wait until here is Dubai. Mission accomplished?
Kamui Kobayashi: I think it is a really good pole for us. We have been really quick all winter season and again in Shanghai and now we are rewarded with the pole position. Actually, we did expect to be on pole in Shanghai, but somehow, we missed it. Today, the gap is also tight. So, I tried to push at every lap because people kept improving, but in the end, I managed to put everything together and I had quite a good laptime. I think that we had quite a lot of traffic and it was difficult to put the best time. In the end, I believe that I have been lucky.
GP2 Asia Series: What was the main difference with this morning's free practice?
Kamui: This morning, there was absolutely no grip. Now, it was getting better and we could win time everywhere. The track was really different than the one we had during Free Practice. That's why we improved quite a lot. I think tomorrow, the forecast is rain maybe.
Vitaly Petrov: Is it?
Kamui: Yeah, I think. So we don't know
Sakon Yamamoto: It could be fun!
Kamui: I'm going to start from the top and we will see what happens tomorrow.
GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Kamui. Sakon, congratulations on your second place. You have been quite competitive ever since the start of this season...
Sakon Yamamoto: I had not driven a GP2 car since Shanghai, but, I could enjoy some good performance during Free Practice. Still, we are a little bit disappointed because we were looking for pole position, but tomorrow it is a long race. Starting from the front row offers a good opportunity to be on a podium. So we concentrate for that and I will try to do my best.
GP2 Asia Series: Ever since your return to the GP2 paddock, you are stronger and stronger. Have found the right rhythm with your team?
Sakon: I think in terms of car set up we have the right one now. This year, I just started the Main series during the season. I hadn't really had the time to work properly with the team. We were willing to do great things together, but we did not have enough time. This time, we started working together from the beginning of the season. We learn to improve step by step together and I believe the results show that we are on the right way.
GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Sakon. Vitaly, you looked really pissed coming out of the parc ferme...
Kamui: yeah, he needs a vodka [laughs]
Vitaly Petrov: or a whiskey maybe [laughs]. I was really disappointed because I got caught up in traffic every time I was trying to set my fastest laptime. So, on the last lap it was my last chance and I still had some people behind me and some people in front of me. And I decided not to slow down and I kept on pushing. And before the last corner, I caught up with the car in front of me and I couldn't pass him. He made a mistake in one corner and went wide and then I had to wait for him to come back because I didn't want to go on the inside. He would have crashed into me. And then, I had to stay behind. I was much quicker, but I had to stay behind him... I was really expecting to finish on pole today. We worked a lot before coming here in order to prepare the car. It would have been nice to be rewarded with pole position...
GP2 Asia Series: Together with Kamui, it will be the second time you race in Dubai. Do you think it will be an advantage on Sakon?
Vitaly: I don't know. We'll see how the start will go. Here, it is always a touchy part. I think it is one of the most difficult tracks when it comes to the start. Tomorrow, I think a lot of cars could stall on the grid like I did last time.
Kamui: Me too. Twice!
Vitaly: Me too. Two races, two stalls.
Sakon: Feel free to do it again [Laughs]
Vitaly: I suppose, the second position is better because there is less grip. It could be an advantage for Sakon. Anyway, we will see tomorrow.
-credit: gp2 series