Valencia Qualifying Press Conference
Pic, Van der Garde and Grosjean discuss the session
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's qualifying session here in Valencia: joining us today from pole position is Charles Pic from Addax, alongside his is his teammate Giedo van der Garde, and we also have Romain Grosjean from Dams. Charles, congratulations on a great lap right when it counted, and with everyone else on track looking for the same thing: did you expect to set a time like that so late in the session?
Charles Pic: For sure I was trying! (laughs) The first 2 sectors were good but not mega fast, and the third sector was very fast and we made the pole! The team did a good job, Giedo was really, really close and he made a great first run, so it was very, very close! I am very happy, and now we have to be focussed on tomorrow's race.
GP2 Series: It was very tight at the end of the session, and a lot of guys were quick in one sector or another, but your strung a solid lap together: how did you do it?
Charles: I was trying to keep my rear tyres, because on my first set I had too much degradation on the third sector, which was not so good, so I was trying to manage them and keep them for the third sector: this was important, and it's what I did, which is why it was good.
GP2 Series: How were the tyres generally: were they as expected?
Charles: It was quite hard to manage, because I was not able to warm them as I wanted because I had some traffic, and after that the rear tyres were just one lap, so to have everything ready for the fast lap it was not easy. But we made it!
GP2 Series: 1-2 for Addax at their home circuit, and your start tomorrow alongside your teammate: what happens from there?
Charles: It's really good, and I think we have to be focussed at the race: we both have good data, we have to work hard, and make a good and fast car for tomorrow so we can be on the podium.
GP2 Series: Great job today. Giedo, congratulations on your job today: it looked like you had it done there until the last minute, but how was the session from your seat?
... I hope to get the start and then we go for the win: that's the aim!
Giedo van der Garde: I think the first part of the session was quite good, I had a good, clean lap and the lap was not fantastic, two little mistakes, and I knew I could do better. But on the second set everything went wrong: I went out, a red flag, then I started my first push lap and there was traffic in sector two, and then I started to push again and Romain crashed! So I couldn't do anything on the second set, which was a pity, but I'm very happy with second place: it's a brilliant result for the team, especially because it's their home race, and now we have to do a good job tomorrow, and I'm convinced we will.
GP2 Series: It was a slightly unusual qualy session because it looked like you could improve on the second set, if you could get a clear lap: was that because the times on the first set weren't optimal, or the tyres were lasting, or something else completely?
Giedo: I think it's more or less like this in a street circuit: we went out this morning and it was very, very slippery, and everybody was complaining that there wasn't enough grip, even the Formula One guys. But then you saw when the F1 guys did their second session they were quicker than last year, and we were also much quicker: normally you can see this year from free practice to qualifying was not too much, but here it was how much, one second or something? It's much more than usual.
GP2 Series: You are also starting from the front row tomorrow, next to your teammate: what will happen?
Giedo: The starts are more or less very good for me this year, so I hope to get the start and then we go for the win: that's the aim!
GP2 Series: You're in a good place for it: good job today. Romain, congratulations on P3 today, although it looked like you were hoping for a bit more at the end of the session: what happened there?
Romain Grosjean: You try these things, sometimes it goes, sometimes it doesn't: that's the way with qualy. I knew it was the last lap and I thought I'd try something different: it didn't work! But it was very close, and I'm quite happy for Dams because last year they were nowhere, and they didn't know what to expect coming here. I think we had a great qualy, a bit blocked by Charles on my first lap at turn 10 (laughs), but there is only one tenth between us so we lost him there! But nevertheless we are there, the team is improving itself too, my teammate did his best qualy, so everything goes in the right direction. We'll see tomorrow: it is a long race, if the clouds keep going it is going to be hot, and it's good also for the championship that we're here.
GP2 Series: The clouds during the session meant we didn't have the super hot conditions we maybe expected: did this affect the tyres?
I'm happy and enjoying my time in GP2 with a really good car.
Romain: When I looked at the forecast at the beginning of the week they said it would be cloudy today, so we were maybe expecting it, but now the clouds have gone away we will have a much higher temperature, so we don't know how the soft tyres will end up through the race. We will have to prepare the best set up and try to get these guys: it is their home race, so we have to be gentlemen and give them the pole position (laughs), but hopefully we can grab the win!
GP2 Series: It's probably the closest championship we've seen in GP2 with you, Sam, these guys...
Romain: And Jules, although Jules had a difficult session...
GP2 Series: ... given this, how do you approach a race weekend when it's this tight?
Romain: It doesn't change much: I'm here to do a job, I'm here to help Dams become the top team of the year hopefully, and I'm very happy to be back in the paddock. When you have some difficulties in the past you see things differently, and I'm happy and enjoying my time in GP2 with a really good car: it's always good to have some laps in a good track, and I'm just making my way back to the top again.
by: gp2 series