Post Feature Race Quotes 2011 GP2 Final

Leimer, Razia and Palmer discuss their race

GP2 Series: Congratulations Fabio. What a fantastic weekend for you so far!

Fabio Leimer: Exactly. I did my first pole position yesterday and that’s my first win in a feature race. I’m really happy and I would like to thank the team for this. They gave me a really good car. I felt really comfortable during the race and you can see on the result that I was leading from the start until the end.

GP2 Series: Yesterday you said that you knew that you had to be smooth on the tyres but it looked like you pushed all race long...

Fabio: Actually not really. I was saving the tyres. I was pushing after the pitstop and on a lap I was maybe nine tenths quicker and then I asked the team if I had the quickest lap. They confirmed it and then I was slowing down immediately to save the tyres. I could have gone quicker but I was driving smoothly to save the rear tyres to make sure that if there was a safety car at the end I would have no problem. I was lucky that it went well.

GP2 Series: You stopped two laps after Razia. Was that your initial strategy?

Fabio: When you are the leader you have an easier job because you can see what the other guys do and then make a decision. We waited until Razia pitted. I was quicker than him. We waited for two laps to see how he would improve after his pitstop. Then we went in and had a good pitstop. I retained the lead. So that was good.

GP2 Series: This win also comes at the right time, one week before your F1 test. I saw Mr Sauber at the podium. What did he tell you?

Fabio: He shook my hand and congratulated me. He told me that I did a good job. I was happy about that. I was glad to see at the podium. It’s important that someone like him keeps an eye on me and I hope it will help me to get more contacts with Formula One and hopefully with Sauber, but we will see.

GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?

Fabio: We will see because Abu Dhabi is actually not so easy to overtake. At the end there are two long straights and there are also a few rookies in front of me. I need to make a good start and then try to overtake lap after lap and maybe to try and win the race. I definitely have the car that can help me do that.

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GP2 Series: Luiz, P2 today. Great result. How does it feel?

Luiz Razia: Well, very good. We had a very good qualifying session yesterday. I think we could have challenged Leimer for the pole. The car was feeling really good. But the red flag happened and...But it was still great. Today, the start was crucial. I had a very good run to the first corner. I overtook Clos and Kral. Then, Leimer built up a gap early on and I couldn’t really catch him. Around lap 10 I had a bit of problem with my tyres. I decided to pit. After I came out again, the car was very good. I was pushing all the time until the end but I just couldn’t get Leimer. He was really strong today. Well done.

GP2 Series: You had no one behind and could not catch Leimer. That was quite a lonely race for you...

Luiz: It was yes, but it was quite challenging. I was still pushing hard because I really wanted to win. I mean if you don’t fight for a championship you still want to win. And I was in a position to do that so I was really hungry to win today but it was not possible. I challenged myself.

GP2 Series: how important is this result for you and your team?

Luiz: I think it’s great for the team. They’re a new team but there are a lot of experienced people and we had a great season together. If you look overall we are doing a good job. The engineers progressed through the season and this race showed that we have the pace and we never know...

GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?

Luiz: It will be a bit more complicated. The tyres are new but there are a lot of laps. It’s all about strategy to take care of your tyres and not put too much pressure on yourself to try and overtake which is a pretty difficult job on this track. It’s all about talent and opportunities...

GP2 Series: Experience will be key also. Do you think it will be an advantage for you seeing how rookies are feeding the top of the grid?

Luiz: I don’t think so. If they are in the top race it means that they are very drivers and have a good pace. I have been in that situation: I was a rookie and I started on pole and I won. I think they can do that but for sure we’re going to make their job difficult (Laughs).

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GP2 Series: Jolyon, this is your first podium finish for you today in GP2. How does that feel?

Jolyon Palmer: It’s great. It’s been a pretty difficult year this season with not a lot of rookies in the field. To take a podium today is great and I want to thank Addax for the opportunity. They’re done a pretty good job.

GP2 Series: How was the race for you?

Jolyon: It was one of my loneliest race ever. I think the first stint there was no one about. I was just keeping check with the two in front of me and then after the pitstop we struggled a lot with front degradation and flat spots. I struggled a lot for pace and Ericsson caught me. And then the last five or six laps made me a bit sweaty with Marcus right behind. But I just had enough tyres and enough to hang on to third.

GP2 Series: This is your first working experience with Addax. How can you explain how quickly you adapted to this car and this team?

Jolyon: We had two days of testing in Jerez and in Barcelona. We did a lot of short runs but also focused on long runs so today we knew what to expect with the tyres and the degradation and how to driver the car and how it is with the set up. It was quite good to have those winter testing days.

GP2 Series: How do you think the experience and the challenges you’ve faced this season brought you to this podium?

Jolyon: They definitely helped. There is no secret in GP2: it’s pretty tough for a rookie and I think especially this year – the field was so tough. With the Arden we’ve had a lot of unlucky results. We should have had points at least in a couple of races. But it’s all about the experience. It’s just a new challenge and you have to adapt to it. And I think that this experience will help me for the future.

GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?

Jolyon: Just to finish in the points and move up a couple of places. And why not? Finish on the podium again. I started fifth today and got a podium. I’m starting sixth tomorrow so I could get one as well...