Race 1 Press Conference: Barcelona 12/05/2007 GP2 Series: Welcome to the Race One Press Conference here in Barcelona with the top three drivers. In third position Lucas di Grassi from ART Grand Prix, in second Timo Glock from iSport ...
Race 1 Press Conference: Barcelona
GP2 Series: Welcome to the Race One Press Conference here in Barcelona with the top three drivers. In third position Lucas di Grassi from ART Grand Prix, in second Timo Glock from iSport International and in first place Bruno Senna from Arden International.
Bruno, first, congratulations on a fantastic win. It was an amazing race, how does it feel to have won it?
Bruno Senna: Still a bit hard to believe it! It was a great gamble. I did a very good start and I was P3 after the start. Then there was a safety car and my engineer called me into the pits. I was a bit worried that it was the right thing to do because I would have to race the whole race with one set of tyres and I knew the tyres would be a bit hard here. But it was the right call and I have to thank them for doing a good job on that. They did a very good pitstop and I could overtake Lucas on the pits and after that I overtook Soucek on the first lap after the safety car which was very important for me and from then on I was just nursing the tyres, trying to put pressure on Jimenez. He was pushing hard, Zaugg was pushing hard, I could see them sliding around and I could keep up with them without pushing as hard as they were so I was just trying not to be too far from him (Glock) because he needed to pit... and it worked! I think he didn't get a big enough gap from me and after I got infront of Zaugg and Jimenez I could put a decent pace all the way to the end of the race.
GP2 Series: You had a fantastic start and your car looked very strong all the time. Were you at all concerned about the risk of changing your tyres so early?
Bruno: I was very concerned. I knew that tyres would be an issue here. My front left tyre got very badly deformed. Half way through I was already struggling with some vibration on the corners and by the end it was really bad. I couldn't see much, but I just hoped for the tyre not to blow up or anything and it didn't happen.
GP2 Series: How did it feel over the closing laps when you were having to nurse your tyres until the end?
Bruno: The car was strong. I didn't struggle as I did in Bahrain with the rear tyres at the end of the race. I think I did a better job of taking care of the tyres in the race even when I was behind people and I knew that Timo wasn't close enough with four laps to go to get me, because he was maybe 1.5 second quicker than me per lap and in four laps you cannot take 10 seconds. I just gave the maximum I had and kept pushing as I was so I had a decent gap in the end.
GP2 Series: You're now third in the championship, did you expect to have such a strong start to the series?
Bruno: Honestly... not really. I was more worried about our test pace and it was a good surprise to be strong. I think Paul Ricard didn't show our real pace and obviously being in only my first year I was a little bit clueless about how the racing would be, but I think I adjusted very well to it and now I need to try and work harder with the team to try and be in front every time.
GP2 Series: And your mother's here for the first time. Have you had a chance to have a word with her yet?
Bruno: Yeah. She was a bit um... speechless, or speaking too much nonsense. I think she was a bit more thrilled than me maybe? But we will have a chance to talk later.
GP2 Series: Congratulations, we'll try not to keep you from her for too long.
Timo, second today probably not the result you were looking for at the start of the race?
Timo Glock: No, I mean at the end yes. We started from pole and I had the speed I think to win the race, but Bruno did the right gamble I think, and made the right choice to pit early, and we made the right choice for the championship. We were talking over the radio the whole time with the safety car, are we coming in or not, are we coming in or not, and we said, OK we stay out because Filippi crashed. We knew that Hamilton last year had a lot of problems at the end of the race because he was pitting early, so we said, OK we'll stay out and try to make the gap as big as possible. It didn't work out for everybody. We caught up di Grassi, Lucas, but not Bruno. They had a pretty consistent car in the end and we thought that maybe he'd get problems as Lucas had in the last ten laps for the end but at the end it didn't work out. We got second and it was the right call what we did. I heard already that some people said iSport destroyed my race or whatever but I think in the end we made the call together. We are a team and I think we made it right for the championship. I mean we definitely were looking to win the race but it didn't work out and we make the best out of it.
GP2 Series: How do you make a decision like that? You know at the time that its going to be an important one, but you're the one leading the race so traditionally you should probably stay out... but how do you make that call?
Timo: Good question! We were talking, discussing different things. My engineer said, OK what do you think, how are the tyres, how is the car? And we could survive it, but you never know how it goes. When you saw Hamilton last year he was really struggling at the end and we said OK we'll go on the safe side and stay out. We knew our car was quick enough to get a decent gap, you know, but not far enough, I was pushing every lap but we came to a point where the rear tyres went off and I had to say, OK it doesn't work out and in the end we made the most of it. It's a shame Nakajima got us for the fastest lap with his lap at the end. It would be another point, but OK, three races, three times on the podium and finished second. Tomorrow is another race and I'm starting from seventh again which is a good position for me.
GP2 Series: Yeah! The other tough decision of course is when do you actually come in. At one point you three guys were the only ones doing 1:31s, the other guys weren't faster than you. You obviously know what times these guys are doing, you know what the gap is back to you, and you know how many laps are running away. How do you know when is the right time to come in?
Timo: When you make a decision like this any you see everybody else is going in to the pits there is only one call and that is 110% every lap and make the gap as big as possible. I think we did it. My first lap after the safety car was pretty good and we already had a big gap. I ran consistent laps and after the pitstop the car was perfect. The first lap was a bit difficult but after that the car was running nearly two seconds quicker than anyone else. We didn't know how long the safety car was, so that was another point, and I thought it took ages to get the cars away. I don't know what they (the track marsalls) did but I think they should remove the cars a bit quicker because then we would have another two laps after the safety car and another two laps at the end, you know? But at the end Bruno did the right call, he did a good job and deserved to win the race.
GP2 Series: Nonetheless, eight points clear at the top of the table. You must be happy with that!
Timo: Yeah. It's only the second weekend, so we're looking a little bit on the championship definitely but there are another couple of races to come up and I think the target is every time to get points like we did over the weekend.
GP2 Series: Thanks. Lucas your first podium in GP2 although surprisingly you don't look very happy about that. Is there a reason?
Lucas di Grassi: No, I'm pretty satisfied with the first podium, it's just that the car was really quick in the beginning and when Timo decided not to stop and I stopped, I knew that after the pitstop I was trying to get first. But I lost two places for Bruno and Lapierre, so after we had some problems with the tyres. So it is good to be on the podium, but still was not as good as I imagined.
GP2 Series: Swings and roundabouts, it wasn't the greatest pitstop for you, but the strategy sort of worked out. Are you happy you came in when you did?
Lucas: Yeah. When I decided to go in, like Timo we were deciding, and the team said 'No, no, come in,' and I was expecting Timo to come in the same lap but he didn't and I was just behind him. So I thought, oh that's great! I went in, did my pitstop and when I exit the pitstop there was I