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Series Abu Dhabi post qualifying press conference

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2011 GP2 Final Post Qualifying quotes

Leimer, Clos and Kral discuss their session

GP2 Series: Fabio, pole position today. A fantastic result!

I took my first GP2 pole. It’s fantastic.

Fabio Leimer

Fabio Leimer: Yes, absolutely. First of all I would like to thank the team because they gave me a really great car. I’ve immediately felt at ease with it since the first day of testing back in Europe. It suits my driving style really well and today I took my first GP2 pole. It’s fantastic.

GP2 Series: You seemed to have worked pretty hard to take it. How did it feel from the car?

Fabio: It is true that I almost lost it. I went off track at Turn 19. I was pushing really hard to try and find the limits and I think I found them (laughs). But I was on my first set of tyres and when that happened, I was scared at first that I had touched the wall and would not make it back to the pits and be able to put the second set of tyres. But eventually everything went well and I could put the second set of tyres. It’s true that I kept on pushing just as much but I was maybe a bit more careful at Turn 19 to keep it on track...

GP2 Series: What will be the key for tomorrow?

Fabio: A good start, for sure. That will be key. But also the way you are going to manage your tyres. You know, if you start from pole and keep the lead at the first corner, normally things go smoothly after that and everything is a bit easier if you keep focused and take care of the tyre degradation.

GP2 Series: Speaking of tyres, how do you think the Pirelli compounds will behave tomorrow?

Fabio: Well, it’s true that at the beginning of the season, everyone was struggling a lot with the mew tyres. I guess we were thinking they would behave the same way as the previous ones, so we all pushed hard from the first lap and of course they would not last. But as you saw in Monza, I think now everyone understand how the Pirelli tyres work and how to be smoother. Maybe it will be a bit more difficult for the rookies tomorrow.

GP2 Series: Talking about experienced drivers, there will be four on the front two rows tomorrow. Does it put extra pressure?

Fabio: No. I know I have to do the job and see from there...

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GP2 Series: Dani, P2 today. Congratulations. It’s a good result...

Dani Clos, Racing Engineering
Dani Clos, Racing Engineering

Photo by: GP2 Media Service

Dani Clos: Yes it’s not bad. This is my first time with Rapax and in their car. It’s quite different from what I’ used to. I’m happy because they gave me the opportunity to come again to GP2 in this race. I’m just happy that Rapax trusted me for this weekend. They gave me a good car and I did the job I think.

GP2 Series: How did your session go?

Dani: It was pretty good. We’ve been fast all day today. The car was very well balanced. We made some tweaks for the second set of tyres. We just had some problems in the first sector. That’s where we lost two tenths I think. Anyway P2 is good and I’m happy with the team because we’re working very fast. I got used to the car very quickly. They have a really potential. They struggled a bit this year so I want to do a good job a stay in front tomorrow.

GP2 Series: Did the red flag ruined your chances to take pole today? Or maybe was it traffic on your flying lap?

Dani: It didn’t affect me really. I decided to do another warm up lap after that. I build a good gap and improved from my best laptime on the first set but that was not enough especially in the first sector. But I am happy anyway.

GP2 Series: What are your hopes for tomorrow?

Dani: Tomorrow is going to be tough. I know the car in front of me since it was mine (laughs) and I know Leimer... We’ll see. I think we have an advantage and I think tomorrow it can be a really good day. We just need to be patient and we need to make the right decisions. That’s all.

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GP2 Series: Josef P3 today. You were really close to taking pole position though...

Josef Kral: Well I think first of all I am happy with this result. P3 is the best result I’ve had in qualifying since I started racing in GP2. I’m really happy for that. Of course, I wanted pole very badly and it was very close but unfortunately it did not go as well as I wanted because I made a mistake in my quickest lap. Then I could not improve. So I’m still happy for having finished third because it’s a good starting position to get a good result in the race. This will be even more important. In the end, I started here on reversed pole here last year but I did not make a good start so P3 will probably help me be calmer and just go for it. Hopefully I will be able to turn this into even better result tomorrow.

First of all, I need to make a good start

Josef Kral

GP2 Series: Do you believe the key to good result tomorrow is a good start?

Josef: Well, the most important thing will be the start but also the strategy because I think it is still quite interesting to run on these tyres and I think it can change a lot the race. First of all, I need to make a good start and then we need a good strategy and I am sure the rest will be fine because we have quite a good pace during the races throughout the season. The car will be strong and hopefully we will use the experience we gained together through the season and put it to good use tomorrow. Fabio and Dani are in different teams, but I stayed with Arden so hopefully this will give me an advantage because I know the car and the team.

GP2 Series: What do you think will be the best strategy tomorrow?

Josef: To win the race! (Laughs)

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Series GP2
Tags clos, gp2, kral, leimer

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