GP2

Hungaroring: Race one press conference

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today are race winner Lucas di Grassi from Campos Grand Prix, in second place we have Andreas Zuber from Piquet Sports, and in third...

GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for race one here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today are race winner Lucas di Grassi from Campos Grand Prix, in second place we have Andreas Zuber from Piquet Sports, and in third place is Bruno Senna from iSport International. Starting with you Lucas, congratulations on your first win for the season: you must be over the moon...

Lucas di Grassi: Yeah! It was very close in Silverstone and then lost five laps to the end, it was okay in Hockenheim in race two also if I didn't have small engine problems, so I had 3 second places and this win was what was missing for me, and I am really, really happy for me and for the team, and I think both me and the team did a really, really good job. These ten points are really important for me at this stage of championship, and also for my future.

GP2 Series: It really seemed to be set up by yet another of your storming starts, and then you had race long pressure from the man next to you: how hard was that to deal with today?

Lucas: The start was not so good: I looked at a video after the race and it looks like Andi and Vitaly had a really good start but I was maybe better positioned for the first corner, Andi went a little bit wide and I could take the lead there. After that here it is very difficult to overtake: I know how hard it is to overtake here, and I thought to myself that my car was quite good, and so I thought to myself all I have to do is not make a mistake to Andi behind me. I was very quick in the last sector, which is a very important part and more or less the only place you can overtake, so I just tried to concentrate and take one lap after another lap. It was very hot out there today, and this track is very physical to drive, so I think it was quite a good race.

GP2 Series: It's one thing to have to idea to stay there and soak up the pressure like that, but quite another to actually do it: how hard was it physically inside the car?

Lucas: I was just discussing this with Bruno after the race: he asked me how would you do it for more than 45 minutes if you were in F1, and I said of course if the other guys can do it then I can do it as well, it's not a big deal! [laughs] But GP2 is quite heavier with this steering wheel, and we don't have the power steering, it's a mechanical steering, so at this track you change directions a lot so you have to correct the steering a lot of times, and in the beginning of the race the car is really heavy so the steering is also really heavy. So it was one of the most physical races of the year, and it was really hot, but nothing I couldn't manage: I think if you are fit you can manage it, it shouldn't be a problem.

GP2 Series: This has put you up to third place in the championship, two points ahead of Romain: how important is the championship to you this year?

Lucas: When I came back I wasn't expecting to do anything in the championship: I missed 3 races, so without 30% of the races the championship is very difficult to do anything, but I'm glad I'm third and I already fought for the championship last year, so of course I want to win the championship, everybody does, but my main goal is to do every race good and fight for wins, and do each race after each race. I'm quite a lot behind Bruno and Giorgio of course, so I'm not thinking about the championship at the moment: I'm just thinking about victories at every race, and that's it.

GP2 Series: Congratulations on a great job today. Andi, congratulations to you as well on second today: it looked like a bit of a disappointment at the start and then you sat on his back for the rest of the race: is that how you saw it today?

Andreas Zuber: Yeah. I had a very good start, but unfortunately I missed the braking point a little bit at the first corner and locked up the rear tyres, so I had to run wide and I lost two positions. Then I tried to fight back, and I was a little bit lucky that Petrov made a bit of a mistake in front of me and I passed him, and after I think I was quickest car and I caught di Grassi, and at the end it was a good race: the car was very good, I missed just one second before the pitstop because I had a big problem with oversteer, but afterwards the car was really good.

GP2 Series: We've seen a lot of guys at a track like this who get behind another guy but can't stay there because of tyre degradation, aero problems and everything else, but you didn't seem to have this problem today: how did you do that? What were you doing differently to the others?

Andreas: I don't know: I didn't look at the television to see what the other guys did! [laughs] I was just following Lucas, and he did not even do one mistake: he did a very good race. My car was really good, even when I was behind him: there was a bit of oversteer but that's normal when you follow a guy. I was just waiting for a mistake but he didn't do one, so P2 is okay.

GP2 Series: At a circuit like this is it fairly impossible to get past someone unless they make a mistake: how frustrating is it to know that but have to keep pushing anyway, and how do you deal with it?

Andreas: I was 20 laps behind him, and that's a lot of time! I thought he was struggling a little bit on brakes [Lucas nods], and sometimes he was really smoky in front of me [laughs], so I thought maybe he brakes too late or makes a little mistake so I can try it, but he didn't have a mistake and I didn't try a crazy move, so in the end it was a good race.

GP2 Series: This is now two strong results in the races in a row, which is a little bit of a change from earlier in the year: does this mean the team has sorted out their race set up?

Andreas: Yes. As I told everyone over the last few races we struggled before on race pace, but now it's getting much better: in Hockenheim it was quite good, and now it's even better. I hope it's now getting even more better, and I can win my first race of the year!

GP2 Series: We'll see what happens: congratulations. Bruno, congratulations on a very strong drive today: I guess starting from eighth you're a bit surprised to end up where you did?

Bruno Senna: Well everybody was already telling me before that you'll have to wait for the next race, but to be fair I know that anything can happen: this is a difficult circuit, this is a difficult race, and the team did a great job so I just had to drive. I had a really good start, and at the first corner everyone just boxed themselves in so I just drove around the outside of everybody, and then Grosjean had his problems so I overtook him as well, and from then on I just had to manage my tyres. We had a bit of oversteer with the first set and I started to fall back a little bit, but after the pitstop I managed the tyres well enough to just keep on pushing and having a consistent car, and at the end I was catching them: I had maybe two or three tenths per lap, but there was no point to try and overtake as I had already done my job, and I just had to collect the points. I knew that Romain and Giorgio weren't in the points, so this weekend is a very important weekend for the championship: I'm closer to Giorgio, and this time I had my worst qualifying of the year, so I plan to have a few pole positions from now on! [laughs]

GP2 Series: Talk me through the pitstop strategy: a lot of teams, including you guys, came in very early here: was that the right decision, and are you happy with how it came out?

Bruno: Yes definitely: in my case it was like in Silverstone, where I had the problem with the first set and unfortunately we stayed out for too long and that made me lose a lot of time, but here the team realised that I also had tyre trouble and they called me in, and it was the perfect timing because then I could really manage the tyres and be consistent. These guys did a better job in the beginning of the race, and they were in job because they deserved it, but today was a day to collect the points and narrow the gap in the championship.

GP2 Series: You've had a lot of people suggesting that Giorgio's gap was too big to close: I guess that this weekend is a big boost for you and the team in that respect...

Bruno: Yeah for sure: it's very easy to get super confident if you are leading the championship and have a good stream of results in the races, but again if you consider that I had bad races at the beginning of the year, and I had mechanical problems, I had ... an unfortunate incident, and without that I would be much closer. So it's very easy for you to get confident because people have problems and you're leading, but now he has problems and I'm catching up: last year I had good performances in terms of speed in both Monza and Spa, and I think I had a good experience at the new Valencia track as well, so also it should be looking very good for me.

GP2 Series: You've also got a chance to make up a few points tomorrow as well: considering the circuit, considering that there's no pitstop strategy, what are your thoughts on the race tomorrow?

Bruno: The race for tomorrow is, again, everyone was putting me off and saying you're starting in eighth, you're in trouble, and I was fourth by the end of the first lap: I didn't have the best start in the world, I had a good start but not the best, so it's I think a case of staying out of trouble and getting as many points as I can tomorrow, and if I don't do anything I still get a point and narrow the championship a little bit more.

GP2 Series: It might have been the best start in the world, but it was probably the best one we saw today: congratulations on your podium today.

-credit: gp2series.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Lucas di Grassi , Bruno Senna , Andreas Zuber