GP2 Asia Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for Race 2 here in Qatar. Joining us tonight race winner Sergio Perez from Barwa International Campos Team, in second place we have his teammate Vitaly Petrov and in third...
GP2 Asia Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for Race 2 here in Qatar. Joining us tonight race winner Sergio Perez from Barwa International Campos Team, in second place we have his teammate Vitaly Petrov and in third place we have yesterday's race winner Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix. Starting with you Sergio, felicidades. Talking about the start of the race, you started from seventh on the reversed grid and entering turn 1, you were P2. Tell us how you managed that...
Sergio Perez: I was a little bit surprised when I saw that everything went perfectly. I made a good start, but everybody moved to the right and I was so quick on the left side. I was really close to crash into Razia because I don't think he saw me there. He moved a lot into the left and I almost got into the grass, but then when I braked, I realised that I was second behind Vitaly. Then I tried to keep my position on the outside and came out of turn 1 in P2. Vitaly was leading. It was a big surprise for me to be second. I was really close to him already in the first corner, but I just tried to maintain my position and to make sure I was getting the second place.
GP2 Asia Series: And then, it wasn't enough...
Sergio: In the beginning, in the first lap, Vitaly had a good pace in the first and the second sectors. But in the third sector, he came a bit slow out of the corner and I got a really good exit and I tried on the first lap and he didn't push enough to block me. Clearly, he didn't want to make a mistake: we knew it was only the first lap and we didn't want to crash. Still, I saw the opportunity and I took it. And after that, I tried to manage my tyres because we learnt from yesterday that the tyre degradation is very important here and I could manage very well because I was leading. So, I did what I wanted to do and it worked really well.
GP2 Asia Series: Tonight, Kobayashi and Rodriguez failed to score any points. Valsecchi got two. Nico here told us that he will not be back for the remainder of the season. I know you said you didn't want to think about the championship just yet, but clearly, you have a shot at finishing in the Top 3...
Sergio: Well... I don't know how close I am to the leaders, but I will keep my strategy and approach each weekend one by one. I will try to win again in Malaysia and keep the momentum. I will work as hard as possible to score as many points as possible. In the end, if I can win the championship I will be very happy.
GP2 Asia Series: Have ever driven in Malaysia before?
Sergio: I did three years ago a rookie session there, but not much... It was just a few laps in total, so... Not much.
GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Sergio. Vitaly, yesterday you told us that you had a hard time trying to find the right pace in order to preserve your tyres. Did you find it today?
Vitaly Petrov: I was slow at the beginning of the race because I didn't want to kill the tyres. When Sergio overtook me, I played it safe in the last corner. I didn't want to crash and I wanted to save my tyres. We worked a little bit on the car since last night. We changed our set-up a little bit for this race. I managed to save the tyres better tonight, I kept close to Sergio and I am happy with the result.
GP2 Asia Series: Can you tell us about the track conditions tonight?
Vitaly: The weather was much better today. The track was warmer. Other than that, it was the same as yesterday. It wasn't that different.
GP2 Asia Series: Campos was not that competitive at the beginning of the season. What has changed?
Vitaly: At the beginning of the season, in Shanghai and Dubai, we had some problems, but now I hope we come back and we try to continue and push like that until the end of the championship. Our goal is to win it and we definitely have the competitiveness to do so.
GP2 Asia Series: Thank you Vitaly. Nico, you looked like the track was very slippery from your car: you made a few mistakes at the beginning of the race, going a little bit wide...
Nico Hulkenberg: It was pretty tricky out there today. For me, there was more sand and more dirt on the track tonight which made it a little bit more difficult. I was also struggling from my front left tyre. Especially, I was really close to Mortara in the high speed parts that made it even more difficult. That's why I was struggling a bit and running a bit wide onto the grass. But finally, I passed him and got into P3 and from there on I was quite along. The Campos guys were quite far away and I was seeing anyone in my mirrors. It was a quiet race for me from then on.
GP2 Asia Series: From eighth to P4 at the start, you managed a great take off...
Nico: I don't think it was a good start, at least not as good as Perez and Petrov, but when I got into Turn 1, there were three cars into the corner and in Turn 2, I decided to take the outside and I think I took one or two guys in the first two corners. Then I was up to P4 after the second corner.
GP2 Asia Series: It took you quite a few laps to finally pass Mortara. Do you think that if you had been able to overtake him a little sooner, you could have caught up with the race leaders?
Nico: For sure, I would have been closer. I think we had a similar pace. After a couple of laps, I slowed down a little bit, but... The difficult thing with Mortara is that he had quite a good traction in the last corner that is followed by a really long straight. There you need to find a way to actually fight this and it took me a couple of laps to do it... It's too bad, but it is still a good result.