Budapest post-race quotes
Quptes from Coletti, Gutierrez and Grosjean
GP2 Series: Stefano, congratulations. Awesome job today. Your strategy paid off. How was it to start the race on slick tyres?
Stefano Coletti: It was really hard. The track was quite wet. When I woke up this morning, I saw the weather and thought if it doesn’t rain, I don’t care, I’m starting P21. I will put on slicks and we’ll see what will happen. So we put the slicks to leave the paddock and the track was slippery and I was doubting a little bit in the car. But I thought that I had nothing to lose. If I go on wets like everyone else, I’ll finish fifteenth. If I go on slicks i can win the race, That’s what happened.
GP2 Series: Talk us through the first few laps...
Stefano: it was really, really hard. It was very slippery. Plus, I had people around me that were on wet tyres and they were taking me everywhere. The point of the first few laps was to stay on track and not push too hard. Just stay on track and try to stay out of trouble. And try to go as further as possible until the track dries. It paid off.
GP2 Series: Where were you when people came back in for slicks?
Stefano: I was P13 because the safety car came in and every one came in to put on slicks. I thought I had lost the race. But in the end, I had warm tyres and theirs were cold. They did not know where the dry line was yet. I overtook them and went up to sixth. Then next lap I was fourth and the following lap, I was first.
GP2 Series: How did you avoid Vietoris and Grosjean when the German span?
Stefano: I was still quite far. When they came together, I was two seconds behind. I was able to see what was happening. I took the inside line and avoided them.
GP2 Series: After a difficult season, how does it feel to be back on top?
Stefano: It feels good. We had a lot of bad luck in the last weekends. Most of the time, the car was performing well during the race, but not in qualifying. We had also some drive through for things that should not be happening. Anyway... We’re happy to be back on top and we have to work to keep the momentum.
GP2 Series: Next stop: Spa.
Stefano: it’s one of my favourite circuits. I finished third last year in GP3. I’ve always been quick there. So I’m expecting some good results there as well.
GP2 Series: Congratulations Esteban. P2 today, a fantastic result. You started from P24. How did it go?
Esteban Gutierrez: It was a crazy race. We started on slicks and it was still a bit wet and it was quite a challenge to make no mistake and it was important to finish. We knew that the track was going to get dryer and we were hoping for this. It was very difficult at the beginning and it felt like we did not make the right call. I did my best to stay out of trouble and keep the car on the track and be as quick as possible in these conditions. Then, after the first safety car, we expected some more rain. We decided to change to rain tyres which was also a very difficult decision. We did a really good pitstop. By then, I was overtaking people and I did not know my position. I just did my best. Suddenly after the second safety car, I saw that I was P5. This is when I knew that I could achieve a good result. I started to push in every lap. Then trying to overtake Romain was quite a challenge I have to say that it was a really nice fight. We the drivers enjoy this kind of clean racing very much. This is how racing should be. It’s a good example. It was interesting how it went through. In the end I am very grateful to the team. They did a great job. We’ve had some problems and we’ve made some mistakes this season. It has been quite difficult and frustrating but now we see that we have a car capable of winning. This is great for the team. I try to stay strong and not let the mistakes get to me or my performance. I really want to thank all my followers, my family and my sponsors.
I just knew that he was in front and I wanted to overtake him!
GP2Series: What were you thinking fighting with Grosjean?
Esteban: To be honest, I was not thinking about the end result. I just knew that he was in front and I wanted to overtake him! I tried not to make mistake and be as fair as possible. I was able to keep close to him and tried to prepare the best chance I had and overtook him on the last corner.
GP2Series: It’s been a tough start of the season for you as you said. Now that you’ve come to grips with the car, what are you expecting for Spa?
Esteban: To be honest, the most important is to give your best in all circumstances. It’s difficult to expect something. We want to be in the points and it is realistic. We have a good pace. Now, it’s important to not raise the expectations too much and stay realistic and keep a cool head. We need to keep working hard as we did this season. For sure, we will try our best to be in the points.
GP2 Series: Romain, great race today. It’s been tough...
Romain Grosjean: It was a funny race. We made all the right decisions until the last pitstop. Using the wets in the first stint was the right decision. After a few laps we thought we could go for the double win this weekend but nevertheless we are in front of the others. We have to take care of Giedo, Charles and Jules behind. We have to adapt the strategy. This race was really good. There were some tough moments especially when Christian spun. He released the brakes and came back on the line and I had to go through the grass to avoid him. It was a little bit hot. It was a really good race.
GP2 Series: The last few laps you had to fend off Gutierrez
Romain: It was funny. He had much more grip. I was struggling as I could not do anything else. I knew he had nothing to play for the championship so if he was trying something I was opening the door for sure. I did not want to risk anything especially since I was in front of the others. At the end of the day, it’s only one point, no big deal and I am happy for Esteban.
GP2 Series: Going to Spa, your lead has extended. Is it going to be easy?
Romain: It’s never easy! (Laughs) We want pole position in Spa because we have only one this season. I would like to take it and we will see in the race. The idea is to keep improving. The team is doing a great job and we can still improve in some areas.
By: GP2 Series