Hulkenberg, di Grassi and Villa discuss the session GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's Race 1 here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today winner of the race Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix, next to...
Hulkenberg, di Grassi and Villa discuss the session
GP2 Series: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference for today's Race 1 here at the Hungaroring. Joining us today winner of the race Nico Hulkenberg from ART Grand Prix, next to him is Lucas di Grassi from Fat Burner racing Engineering, and in third is Javier Villa from Super Nova. Starting with you Nico, congratulations. This is a hat trick for you today after your two wins last round in Nurburgring. How does that feel?
Nico Hulkenberg: I mean it feels great. Winning is always nice. I think it was a very nice race from start to finish. I took a good start. I decided to go on the outside for Turn 1 and brake really late. There was a black spot, but I was third out to turn 1. Then I could follow the speed of Lucas and Javier during the first stint. For the pit stop, Javier was the first to pit then me, then Lucas. I think we picked the right lap to come in. And then I could set a good move on Lucas going into Turn 2, braking a bit late. And from then on, I took the lead. My car was pretty good and I kept my foot down and make a small gap.
GP2 Series: Small? It was fifteen seconds at the chequered flag...
Nico: Okay, big gap.
GP2 Series: Seeing your pace today it's strange to see that you only started from fifth. What happened during qualifying yesterday?
Nico: Hungary is a quite challenging circuit. It's not an easy one. There are tricky corners. I had to learn it as it is my first time here. So I improved a lot from practice to qualifying, but still I could not put the perfect lap and I picked up a little bit of traffic here and there. I've just been a bit too slow...
GP2 Series: You pitted right after Villa today on lap 11. Was that plan or did Villa's strategy forced you to come in earlier?
Nico: There is not a basic plan for the strategy. I mean, you need to see how the start is, how the race develops and how the other guys are doing. And I rely on the guys on the pitwall. They have an eye on the laptimes and what the others are doing. And they just tell me what to do.
GP2 Series: You seem pretty untouchable right now. What are your hopes for tomorrow?
Nico: I'm not expecting too much. Maybe picking up a few points. It's going to be dry for sure. Overtaking is pretty difficult, pretty tough here. There are no pitstops. We are on the same tyres. It's going to be a pretty difficult one and I don't expect too much to be honest.
GP2 Series: Thank you. Congratulations again. Lucas, your pace today wasn't as strong as the one you displayed in practice and qualifying. Did it have anything to do with track conditions as it was much cooler today?
Lucas di Grassi: Well, the pace was the best as I could go. And compared to the other drivers, it wasn't a massive difference, just to ART at the moment and to Hulkenberg's since Nurburgring. They had a pretty amazing pace for the dry in Race 1 and also here We are in hard compounds here and today it was impossible to fight with him. I did everything I could do: I had a good start. I had a good pitstop and everything. But at the moment, when it's not enough. When Nico overtook me I had cold tyres. I tried to defend as much as I could, but it was not enough. I scored ten points, eight today and two from pole yesterday. It's been so far my best weekend of the season, so I cannot be not happy. But there is a long way to work and to improve the car to make sure that we catch especially Nico now. I'm very close to Petrov and Grosjean in the championship, but the gap is more or less the same to Nico. So me and my team have a lot to do to decrease the gap.
GP2 Series: Yesterday, you told us that you were aiming at closing that gap. Although Nico is 20 points ahead of you, you are getting closer. Are you satisfied?
Lucas: The result it self is satisfying. If I had been told at the beginning of this week that I would score ten points in Race 1 I would have been happy. But the difference in pace today with Nico setting his fastest laptime two laps before the end of the race was something impossible for me. So, at the moment, there is a big difference from this. The car in theses conditions with soft tyres, we will have to make sure to improve the car at some point in order to catch up with ART. At the beginning of the season Addax was dominating, now ART look like they have the edge. Next time, it could be us. So we just have to keep focused and keep working. At least, harder than them.
GP2 Series: What about tomorrow, starting from P7?
Lucas: Well tomorrow at least I'll start from the clean side. My start today was good. So, just like Nico said: I will try to make a good start and take a few points. If the car is behaving well it is possible to overtake. Of course, it's not easy, but I have to try to take this points and steal some from Nico. It is difficult to overtake, but I will do what I can.
GP2 Series: Thank you. Javier, you had a very good race and a great pace almost getting bonus point for fastest lap. However, you could do anything against Lucas.
Javier Villa: Yeah. We had a good start and I was P2. The first part of the race, before the pistop, I was very quick. Then, here was a difficult moment with people were coming from behind. Nico and Lucas also stopped just after me. And then I was P3. I think I was quicker than Lucas, but overtaking here is very difficult. In the end, I scored my first podium in a Saturday race. It's a lot of points for the championship and we need it. And we will see tomorrow. It will depend on what will happen at the start. Maybe we can finish at the front.
GP2 Series: What about tyre degradation today as it was much cooler than yesterday?
Javier: The rear tyres were very difficult. So in the last eighteen laps, it was very difficult. But it looked the same for everybody else. Only Hulkenberg was very quick. The laptime that they di, for us at the moment it is impossible. But compared for example with Lucas, I think we are one step quicker. It is not too bad.
GP2 Series: Toward the last stages of the race you had to cope with the pressure from Pastor Maldonado. So you had to defend your position whilst trying to gain one. How difficult was that?
Javier: It's was ok with Pastor because on this circuit, when you get to close to the other car, it's difficult to stay behind. He could come close to me in the first sector, but in the second sector with high speed corner, he was losing half a second or even a full second. So I know it was not going to be easy for him to overtake me. It was not my biggest problem during the race.
GP2 Series: For tomorrow, you will start from the dirty part of the track. How are you going to manage that?
Javier: Well, it's not ideal, but I will give my 100% because it's very important not to lose places at the start. If you do, then you cannot come back. I will stay on the clean part of the track as much as possible during the formation lap and then we will see what will happen at the first corner.