Filippi, Pic and Grosjean discuss the race
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's feature race here in Monza. Joining us today are race winner Luca Filippi from Coloni, in second we have Charles Pic from Addax, and in third place we have Romain Grosjean from DAMS. Luca, congratulations on another fine win, and this time at home: what does that mean to you?
Luca Filippi: Yeah, I have never won in GP2 here in Monza – I've had two podiums, but I've never had a win – so it was really important to me, for myself, just to have a Monza win in GP2. I really, really wanted this perfect win, and especially in race one: it's more important. We had the pace, the speed to do it, and I'm very glad: for me and the team we are all Italian, so it's very important for us.
GP2 Series: Yesterday you gave us your thoughts on how to arrange the perfect win: did you do that?
Luca: Actually I had a chance at the start: I had a very good start, so after that even if I had a lock up in the first turn it was very good for me because after that my tyres were already quite hot, so I had a chance to pull away in the first two laps, and maybe Charles behind me didn't get a chance to get my slipstream, so he didn't have that advantage to catch me on the straights. I was able to make a bit of a gap, and then to manage it throughout the race.
GP2 Series: It didn't really look like there was much more for you to do but pull away and make fastest lap after fastest lap: how did the tyres hold up for this?
We had the pace, the speed to do it, and I'm very glad: for me and the team we are all Italian, so it's very important for us.
Luca: Actually, I think I had a bigger advantage until the pitstop: I think I was maybe two or three tenths faster than Charles behind me, but after the pitstop I saw on the board that he was catching me a little bit, so I had to push. It wasn't easy for me: I had to push, and that time I think we were more or less doing the same laptimes so it was very tight, and I also needed the fastest lap for my championship standing to take some points, so I needed to push without risking too much.
GP2 Series: On the pitwall we could see the splits, we could see you were going for fastest lap and so was Romain: were you aware of how much he was pushing you?
Luca: I didn't know who it was, but I had the fastest lap on my board so I knew what I had to do to try and beat him. Obviously it was very important for us, this extra point.
GP2 Series: You were wondering yesterday about how the tyres would work: how were they today?
Luca: I didn't really have any problems: I was struggling a little bit on the in lap before the pit, but before and after that they were fine, just losing a little bit of traction in the second chicane. In the high speed corners, in the Lesmos, in Ascari and Parabolica, I think the balance of the car was nearly perfect.
GP2 Series: The fight for P2 in the championship is very much alive: what are your hopes for tomorrow?
Luca: It's very hard to say: my two competitors are starting in front of me, and I need to finish in front of them. It's very, very difficult for me, and I really need a good start and a good race: tomorrow is maybe the most important race of the season! (laughs)
GP2 Series: We look forward to it. Charles, congratulations on P2 today, although I think you were hoping for a little more. Talk us through the start of the race.
Charles Pic: The start was not great! I had a little problem with my clutch, which moved just before the start, so that's the reason why I had a lot of wheel spin and it was very hard to control it. Anyway today Luca was faster than us, and we were missing some pace: I think we know why it has happened and we will try to resolve it, to be faster and stronger tomorrow and to try to have a good race.
GP2 Series: After the start it looked like Luca was pulling away and you had to concentrate more on the guys behind: would that be fair to say?
Charles: No, I was not concentrating on the guys behind, I was just concentrating on doing my job and going as fast as I can without any mistake: that's it.
GP2 Series: And just concentrating on P2 in the championship, P2 in the race, and put as many points as possible in the bag?
Charles: Yeah. After, I don't know for the championship, because it will be very close tomorrow: Jules will start on pole, Luca's with me, so I don't know. We will try, and we will see after the race. I think it will be close, and I think the guys will make a good start and a good race.
GP2 Series: Congratulations. Romain, congratulations on P3 and another podium today, and in a way I guess it suited you that all eyes were on the guys in front of you: how was the race from your seat?
Romain Grosjean: It was quite boring! (laughs) Starting from P5 was not the best: qualy yesterday I had some traffic, yellow flags and so on, and all year we have been struggling with qualifying. But in the race we had a good start, and unfortunately the cars in front of me got close together so I had to back off and couldn't take advantage. I then lost some time behind Parente when he pitted, I couldn't get through him, and then we did the pitstop and the car was good. I was just trying to catch him first of all, and then see if I could do what I could do, but he was too difficult to overtake today: the tyres were a bit too consistent today, and that was my main problem! (laughs) Nobody struggled with degradation today, and in this case it's very difficult to get to the other guy and find an opening. P3 is good for the team Dams: every single track we have been fast, and in this low downforce track we are still here, so I'm very happy for them and for what they've been doing all season long.
GP2 Series: This circuit is so fast and so flowing that people always think it's easy to overtake here, but it never is: do you think you were a lot faster than Charles today?
Romain: I think we had some pace in the pocket today! As you say, it seems to be easy to overtake here, but unfortunately it is not: we are running very little downforce, and when you follow another car you lose the small amount that you have, so you're sliding through the key corners like the Lesmos, Ascari and Parabolica. I was much faster, but it was too far to try to do something: I didn't want to ruin his race as well, as I know he is fighting for the championship as well, so it would have been stupid to try something from so far back with a stupid move, so I think it was an intelligent and mature race.
GP2 Series: You've got nothing to prove tomorrow, you've already won the championship, so what are your hopes for tomorrow?
Romain: I've been winning at every single GP2 race track since 2008, but I haven't won at Monza: if I can get the win then I would have won everywhere, which would be great! (laughs) I had the personal challenge of winning both races, but it's over now! (laughs) This was maybe a little bit ambitious, but I start from P6: let's see after the start. These guys will be fighting really hard for the championship, I will be there for fun for my last GP2 race ever, so I will just go for it and have some fun, because it's the last 21 laps I will do!
GP2 Series: You can't come back after tomorrow, so no pressure: just get it done! Congratulations.